Talk:World War II/Archive 46

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Archive 40 Archive 44 Archive 45 Archive 46 Archive 47 Archive 48 Archive 50

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Edit request from 70.53.121.209, 2 April 2011

the flags of canada and china are incorrect (canada is showing the flag of ontario, china is showing the flag of Taiwan. The link to china also directs the reader to the wikipedia page of taiwan and not china.

70.53.121.209 (talk) 15:09, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

The flags are correct for the timeframe. Canada did not adopt its current flag until twenty years after the end of WWII and it wasn't until 1949 that the PRC won the Chinese Civil War. During the war, China was still known as the Republic of China, hence the link to the correct article. --PlasmaTwa2 22:12, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I believe those flags are from the period of the war.  Hazard-SJ  ±  03:18, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from 24.107.130.252, 2 April 2011

The fourth paragraph is absolutely incorrect. The Imperial Japanese forces DID NOT surrender in August 1945. They AGREED TO surrender after the two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At that point, substantive hostilities between the U.S. and Japan ceased. Note - not all hostilities ceased at this point in the Pacific Theatre, for example, in China, and the Soviet occupation of Manchuria, etc. continued unabated.

Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945, VJ Day, aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. This marks the official end point of the Second World War. 24.107.130.252 (talk) 15:31, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a source? Adabow (talk · contribs) 05:17, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made.My understanding is that Aug 15 is VJ Day. Nevertheless, I looked in Google and on the NY Times web site to find when NY had a ticker-tape parade. While certainly not scientific, it's a reasonable indicator.
The parade was listed as "Aug. 14-15, 1945; Victory in Japan (V-J) Day, marking end of World War II; 5,438 tons" of ticker tape. Dunno if that means the parade lasted two days or what, but that's a helluva lot of paper.
Can you cite a Reliable Source for your assertion? If so, please change the "answered=yes" to "answered=no" in the template above and we'll revisit your request. Thanks! — UncleBubba T @ C ) 20:56, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
This is actually a reasonable edit request. Japan agreed to surrender on 15 August and most of the fighting ceased that day, but the formal surrender came into effect on 2 September. The Surrender of Japan article does a rather good job of explaining this, and includes lots of supporting references (its actually a FA). I've just tweaked the wording in question. Nick-D (talk) 08:42, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Contradictions

Hi, I'm not sure how Wikipedia generally deals with this, but there seems to be a contradiction between the main WWII page and one of the linked articles "The Holocaust". It says under Concentration camps and slave work for the WWII article that "The Nazis were responsible for The Holocaust,...killing...as part of a programme of deliberate extermination.". The Holocaust article, however, cites that even the figure of 5 million Jewish deaths includes counts of death by "ghettoization and general privation". To call privation "deliberate extermination" surely requires qualification, otherwise both sides in WWI could be described as deliberately exterminating their own soldiers, as a synonymous term for attrition. Not to make any apologies for anyone, but gross neglect causing death is not "deliberate extermination" is it? This wording seems to imply that all of these deaths were as a result of official execution by means such as death camps and firing squad, implying that an unspecified additional number of people must have died as a result of war and attrition, when in fact the numbers of at least the latter are already included. Is there generally consistency of wording used among linked Wikipedia articles, or how is this sort of thing usually handled? User talk:efAston

'Privation' seems like a rather weak way to describe deliberetly packing people into squalid conditions and then providing them with starvation rations as part of a program of murdering as many of them as possible. However, that's a discussion for the other article; this one's wording seems OK, particularly as it's only providing a brief mention of the Holocaust. Nick-D (talk) 08:34, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

OK, so you think the wording is good, I'll accept that, but what's Wikipedia's general approach to contradiction? I've seen a couple of articles where a specific article seemed to contradict a general one, even if there is a link to the afore in the text of the latter. Usually it's quite easy to fix just by using slightly more specific language, but in an instance like this, there's a question of what's actually being described, as you pointed out. There's, oddly, no mention of contradiction in any of the Wikipedia guidelines, as a phenomenon of related articles. Are all articles considered independent of one another and only dependent on their references, or is encyclopædic reference expected to create coherent explanations?

User talk:efAston

PS My WWI attrition analogy still works given your description of privation as an understatement, but I'll concede that's not the only way to view the sentence :P. "Though the death rate in the concentration camps was high with a mortality rate of 50%, they were not designed as, or meant to be, killing centres." -Holocaust article — Preceding unsigned comment added by EfAston (talkcontribs) 10:56, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Incorrect infobox image

Infobox [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NRAWanjialing1.jpg top left image] pertains to the Sino-Japanese War which preceded WWII and hence needs to be changed. AshLin (talk) 19:04, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree, most scholars and the general public disagree with the idea that the Second World War began in 1937. The fall of Hong Kong would be better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hawjam (talkcontribs) 20:07, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Indeed, to quote this very article "was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945" that image really must be changedHawjam (talk) 01:57, 14 April 2011 (UTC)hawjam

Holocaust nav box/Creating a bot to link articles to matching nav boxes

I've noticed that many of the articles that the Holocaust nav box links to do not have the nav box listed on it. In fact, I've noticed this with lots of nav boxes on Wikipedia. Is there a way to have a robot automatically do all of the linking of nav boxes on the articles that it links to? If not, can't Wikipedia create a robot to do stuff like that? This seems like the exact type of task that could be programmed into a bot. It would save a ton of tedious work and time for people.Hoops gza (talk) 01:00, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

You could ask for this to be done at Wikipedia:Bot requests. Nick-D (talk) 03:09, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

WWII talk page FAQ

I noticed that similar questions are being asked regularly, and we have to give the same answers more or less regularly. I suggest to create a list of these questions ((i) "the order of belligerents" and (ii) "the belligerent list" are two obvious candidates), and provide answers on them that briefly summarise the talk page discussion. If this idea is supported, I can try to prepare a draft.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:42, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Support. Ko Soi IX (talk) 15:46, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds sensible to me as well Nick-D (talk) 23:29, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Apparently, the WWII FAQ talk page already exists [1]. I added a link to this page at the top of the WWII talk page, and I suggest to expand it.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:07, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Number of soldiers

I noticed that the World War I article had a list over the military strength of each country involved in the template to the right. I thought that was rather useful. Could we have something similar in this article? --The monkeyhate (talk) 14:50, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Edit request - Concentration camps and slave work section.

CUrrently it reads: On 19 February 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, interning thousands of Japanese, Italians, German Americans, and some emigrants from Hawaii who fled after the bombing of Pearl Harbor for the duration of the war. The U.S. and Canadian governments interned 150,000 Japanese-Americans,[314][315] as well as nearly 11,000 German and Italian residents of the U.S.[314]

Please clean this up as it implies the Canadian government was placing American citizens and residents in internment camps. Maybe instead of "Japanese-Americans", say People of Japanese Decent. Further, please provide statistics for German and Italian residents of Canada that were affected.

199.60.230.22 (talk) 19:50, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Curtis Nickason

The invasion of Poland by Germany and Slovakia

In the first line of the second paragraph, it is claimed that "the invasion of Poland [was carried out] by Germany and Slovakia".

I believe that the claim that Slovakia was an active participant in the invasion, is incorrect and misleading. According to "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William L. Shirer, published in 1959 by Secker and Warburg Ltd, on page 626, "On the afternoon of September 8 [1939] the 4th Panzer Division reached the outskirts of the Polish capital, while directly south of the city, rolling up from Silesia and Slovakia, [General von] Reichenau's Tenth Army captured Kielce and [Field Marshal] List's Fourteenth Army arrived at Sandomierz, at the junction of the Vistula and San rivers."

I understand that Slovakia was not an independent sovereign state at this time, and any Slovakian citizens involved as soldiers would have been under the direct command of the German Army. I hope some better authority than myself will check the accuracy of this, and edit this paragraph.

Agreed. Whereas Slovakia did invade Poland, I do not think it is correct to mention this small puppet state in the lede. It is quite sufficient that the main article tells about that. I already removed Slovakia once, but someone re-added it again. I support its removal.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:15, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

This is a pathetic artical as it does not explain the subject at all clearly —Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.106.70.143 (talk) 07:01, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

The appearance of Hitler

The appearance of Hitler has been generated by the United States already during WWI. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.3.123.123 (talk) 11:25, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

ww2 begining

WW2 began 3september -1945.nost of the world was involved aspeshelly Germany wot was a axis power pluss they startted the war — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kianhawksworth (talkcontribs) 15:29, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Did war really started with invasion of poland ?

I remember i read somewhere that after Munich agreement, many Czechoslovak armed forces members either didnt know about it or simply ignored orders and got into many firefights with German and Hungarian armies. Up to 120 Czechoslovak soldiers and policemen were killed during these spontal defensive fights. (And up to 300 ocupants soldiers killed) If is this true, it may be considered as begin of war because war is often defined as "armed encouter of uniformed members of two or more nations armed forces" and those encouters surely were between armed forces of Czechoslovakia and Hungary or Nazi Germany.

--Martysek12345 (talk) 16:55, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

In the traditional timeline, the war started with the Invasion of Poland. By the way...where'd you read that? Darkjedi10 talk!| Here! 21:27, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Recent edit

This [2] undiscussed addition is too much detail on topics we've already mentioned and blue-linked. Whoever wants to revert it has my support. -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:09, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Done. The wording was also rather POV Nick-D (talk) 07:50, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Switzerland

i find it rather strange that switzerland is not mentioned by a single sentence. at least the fact that it was not invaded could be menioned with few words. Philtime (talk) 08:36, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

So isn't Tanzania.switzerland had almost no significance in ww2 Sam 08:59, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Hirohito as leader of Japan? Why not then include King George VI for the UK and King Victor Emmanuel III for Italy?

The infobox is mixed up at present. It shows the heads of government for the United Kingdom and Italy and not their monarchical heads of state while showing the monarchical head of state for Japan. If in the case of UK and Italy that the head of government is considered the effective political leader of the state, then the same case holds for Japan. Hirohito was a figurehead, his signature for government actions was a mere formality, and the Japanese army controlled the state under the leadership of Prime Minister Hideki Tojo for most of the war.--R-41 (talk) 03:34, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Hirohito was more of a hands-on decision maker. He was not a figurehead says biographer Bix. There is a very good discussion pp 44-50 in The end of the Pacific war: reappraisals by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa] Rjensen (talk) 07:45, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

New photos.

The Russian RIA-Novosti press agency has recently uploaded a number of good WWII time photo to Commons, so we can add better quality pictures to the article. I added some photos, and I suggest to discuss which of them should stay, and what old photos should be removed. I think the photographs of the Battle of Moscow, Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Kursk, of one of Soviet offensives during summer of 1944 and some good photo of Berlin are absolutely necessary in this article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:49, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

File:RIAN archive 633180 Stream crossing.jpg lacks any context and should be removed - the caption is that its a group of soldiers crossing an unspecified 'stream'. The unusual combination of tanks and towed anti tank guns (being pushed by hand, for some reason despite the stream being fordable by vehicles) makes me suspect that this either depicts a training exercise or was staged. I've taken out the photo of the aircraft attacking at Kursk as that section already had a photo of Soviet forces. Nick-D (talk) 01:54, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
The unspecified stream is at 1st Ukrainian front, which means that that is likely the Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive. Only one of the guns is 45 mm anti-tank gun M1942; another gun is a Zis-3 76 mm divisional field gun, not an anti-tank gun. The fact that the stream is fordable by tanks does not automatically mean that it is fordable by wheeled trucks. And, finally, the photo depicts a typical Eastern front situation during 1944, and improves the reader's understanding of those time's events.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:41, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Why would a divisional field gun be pushed across a stream at the same time as tanks and anti-tank guns are crossing it? - divisional-level weapons would have followed behind such front line units. The photo is dramatic, but without details on what it actually depicts it's not really usable, especially as there are many other options. It seems a shame that this section has two photos of the eastern front and one of the western front in Europe but none of the Pacific War, given that this was also the period in which the Allies made their most dramatic advance there (advancing from the Central Pacific to the Philippines in a matter of weeks!). Nick-D (talk) 03:16, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
In summer 1944, the series of extremely successful Eastern Front offensives inflicted tremendous human and material losses on the Axis, nullified all its territorial gains in the East, and forced a second largest German ally, Romania, to join the Allies. The photo depicting these events is absolutely necessary here; such a photo has been removed for copyright reasons, and now, when we have a free photo, we must add it. If you believe the section is overloaded with pictures, let's think about removal of the Warsaw uprising photo: this event had no significant military of political implications.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:07, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Edit notice

Per a suggestion by Chumchum7 (talk · contribs) on my talk page, I've created an edit notice for this article which will appear when its edited which asks editors to gain approval for significant changes to the article here before making them. The direct link to the edit notice is: Template:Editnotices/Page/World War II. This replaces the comment which is currently at the top of the article, and I think it still reflects the consensus approach to editing this article (eg, that changes are welcome, but they need to be discussed first given the article's prominence). Comments on and changes to the notice and its wording would of course be great. Nick-D (talk) 12:18, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Good idea, Chumchum. Nick, for some reason the message appears twice. Maybe it makes sense to move one copy under the editor window, to make sure that the users see it at the moment they press the "Save" button?--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:03, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
It only appears once for me in Internet Explorer and Google Chrome - what browser are you using? Cheers, Nick-D (talk) 08:09, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Firefox 3.6.18 and Chrome. The notices appear as follows:
  • The "Attention editors" notice
  • The "Note: This page has been semi-protected" notice
  • The "Note: This page has been semi-protected" notice (again)
  • The "Attention editors" notice (again)
--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:50, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

List of Belligrents

In the list of belligrents, Germany is at the top of the Axis power list. This is understandable as it did the bulk of the fighting and is widely believed to be the cause of the war. However in the allies list The British empire is third. Why is this? Not only did they do the bulk of the fighting (France (pre-Dunkirk), North Africa, Battle of Britain, War in the Atlantic, Occupied Europe after D-Day), Britain is alphabetically higher than Soviet Union and United States of America! Why is it not the top of the list. I know this seems picky but i believe that it is wrong. I cant edit the page, but can someone change this. Lordluxion (talk) 13:54, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Please, read the talk page discussion. There are serious reasons for doing that (I mean, for placement of the USSR on the top).--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:42, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Where can i find this reason? (I'm a noob) 82.43.154.2 (talk) 20:34, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

We have Template talk:WW2InfoBox where infobox issues are discussed. There is also a similar discussion in the archives at Talk:World War II/Archive 40#USSR and USA at the top? that specifically explains it in a bit more detail. Regards, Woody (talk) 22:03, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you very much fortaking the time to help a noob. Thanks again 82.43.154.2 (talk) 17:53, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

That what you keep saying, go to the talk page but nothing changes on here when the majority of people have agreed that the US should be below the British empire in every way Alphabetically, Casualties, Troop count, major battles, contribution, but the bias carries on. THE BRITISH EMPIRE SHOULD BE SECOND.109.154.15.36 (talk) 15:43, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

The placement of the USA above Britain in every Wikipedia Second World War belligerent list implies that the war was fought between the USA and Nazi Germany. I hate to be pernickety but I don't think that that is the case — America made a huge and very relevant impact upon the war, but 'The War' was not their own. Russia, inarguably, suffered the greatest losses in 'The War' and made a greater impact than any other belligerent so should be listed at the top. Nevertheless, (as many historians have observed) the Second World War was fought between Nazi Germany and Britain; between the empires of Churchill and Hitler — thus placing the British Empire second in the allied belligerent list.--Wkerry (talk) 18:59, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Soviet Union and the lame Belligerents Table

The Soviet Union was, until Barbarossa, an aggressor, and an Axis co-belligerent (invading Poland, which clearly was an "Allied" country), something that is obvious to anybody except schoolchildren and their teachers who take the belligerent table seriously, and of course Soviet Union POV advocates. And thus, Finland would have to be called an Allies co-belligerent, since they were fighting the Soviets... Then would that take them to the Ally side when they fought the Nazis in Lapland?

According to Wikipedia and its hard-earned credibility, the Soviet Union is the number one Ally... Something is clearly wrong with that!

I am concerned that such table makes for an over-simplification of history, and thus inherently a bad idea. I am not sure how to fix it. But fixed it must, or else removed, for, by given inaccurate and confusing information, it detracts more than adds, since it further popularizes the Soviets as number one Ally. According to the table, the S.U. was at war starting only in 1941? Fine, if you want to support those with biased POV!

Maybe the Wikipedia position is that the Soviet Union invasion of Poland and the Baltics is not part of WW2? And its conflict with Finland? YamaPlos talk 16:44, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

The infobox has its own talk page : Template talk:WW2InfoBox. (Hohum @) 16:49, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
thank you, didn't know. Will go there now YamaPlos talk 17:27, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Allied assistance to Finland

I fully agree on Including the failed Triple Alliance negotiations in the article including the reasons for failure. Regarding the defacto alliance, while many historians have opinions on this what is important is whether or not Britain in 1940 regarded the SU was a de facto ally of Germany. Given that they planned Operation Pike and were fully intending to implement it until the Germans defeated France and captured the plans and publicised it, then yes certainly Britain believed the Soviet Union was on the side of the Nazis. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 21:14, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Not so easy. Britain and France intended to invade Norway to prevent Germany from using Swedish iron - it doesn't mean that Britain and France considered Norway and Sweden as German allies. Moreover, in the second half of 1941 Soviets intercepted British diplomatic letters where British ambassador and foreign minister wrote that they considered Soviet-German non-aggresion pact as only the truce between two sworn enemies. --Sambian kitten (talk) 04:31, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I would image that any diplomatic traffic in the second half of 1941, i.e. after Operation Barbarossa, would show a re-evaluation. Prior to Barbarossa reliable sources show otherwise, for example other plans included the seizure of northern Norway and Sweden, and an advance into Finland to directly confront Soviet troops in the Franco-British plans for intervention in the Winter War. Oddly enough mention of both Operation Pike and the Franco-British plans for intervention in the Winter War is missing from this article. I propose some mention of it be included in this section that we are discussing. I propose adding the following text (bolded) to this sentence:
France and the United Kingdom, treating the Soviet attack on Finland as tantamount to entering the war on the side of the Germans, responded to the Soviet invasion by supporting the USSR's expulsion from the League of Nations[53], making Franco-British plans for intervention in the Winter War and a strategic bombing campaign against Soviet targets in Operation Pike.
Do we have agreement for this change?--Martin Tammsalu (talk) 21:08, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
No. Re the plan for intervention, it has been opposed by the British Chief of staff, and its cancellation had been meet "with a huge sight of relief" (see. Paul W. Doerr. 'Frigid but Unprovocative': British Policy towards the USSR from the Nazi-Soviet Pact to the Winter War, 1939. Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Jul., 2001), pp. 423-439). Regarding the Operation Pike, the bombing had different aims, one of them was to disrupt Germano-Soviet economic cooperation. However, economic cooperation is not co-belligerence.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:05, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Never the less, planning did take place in response to the Soviet attack on Finland and the M-R pact, this is a fact, and there is no reason not to briefly mention these plans by this small addition. The reasons for cancellation and "relief" of the British Chief of staff can be discussed in detail in the respective articles this proposed sentence links. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 03:18, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Given that the French and British plans to intervene against the USSR were pretty half-hearted, I don't see grounds for including them. Various other operations were planned but never executed by the major powers, and they're (rightfully) not mentioned in the article. Nick-D (talk) 03:29, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
No planning took place in responce to MRP (see, e.g. Keith Sword. British Reactions to the Soviet Occupation of Eastern Poland in September 1939. The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 69, No. 1 (Jan., 1991), pp. 81-101). Regarding Finland, these plans were aimed mostly to protect Norway, and to deprive Germany of Swedish iron ore (see "Frigid but Unprovocative", op. cit). This article is not intended to be another version of the "What If..." book.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:36, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, planning started with the MRP, but specific planning took place in response to the Winter War. The British government may have been half hearted as Nick-D says, but certainly not the French nor the British public and press. From the Doerr paper Paul cites:
"The reaction of the British public and press to the Soviet invasion of Finland was overwhelmingly hostile. Sympathy for Finland was strong. The Finns were seen as a small, embattled liberal state defying a totalitarian power. As the Finns battled against increasingly long odds, pressure grew on the British government to do something. Military supplies were sent to Finland along with some British volunteers. By March 1940 public pressure and pressure from the French forced the British government to agree to a wild plan to send British troops to Finland."
Do not forget that the French were considered a major military power in 1939, so while the British may have been reluctant, I don't see why we should ignore the French pressure for intervention. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 03:50, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Could you please, quote next three sentences from the same source, directly after the words "to send British troops to Finland."? --Paul Siebert (talk) 07:01, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
The following lines merely describes the opinion of the author of the motives of the British and French: "In fact, the real purpose of this expedition was to have British and French troops occupy northern Norway and Sweden in order to deprive Germany of Swedish iron ore supplies. Only one brigade of British troops would cross the border into northern Finland, where they would have absolutely no impact on the fighting in the south." Of course that is a somewhat cynical view. Supply lines to Finland had to be guaranteed across the territory of two unwilling neutrals Norway and Sweden (who btw agreed to German requests to transit German troops to occupied Norway), and defend against a possible German counter attack on their supply lines. What your sources speak of were difficulties in mounting a campaign against the Soviet Union and the debate within British political circles with regard to that. But make no mistake, the sources show that the Soviet Union was regarded as an enemy of liberal democracy since the time of the British intervention against the Bolsheviks in 1918-1920, just twenty years earlier. As Sandra Halperin succinctly states in her book War and social change in modern Europe published by Cambridge University Press: "During the months of inactivity that are recorded in history as the "Phony War" with Germany, Britain and France were actively engaged in preparations for war against the Soviet Union". Yet only on Wikipedia do we find this significant period obscured. Why? --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 11:50, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
The topic isn't censored, it's just not important enough to include in this very high level article. This is consistent with how similar aborted plans are handled. Please don't approach this with a battleground mentality. Nick-D (talk) 12:04, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
So almost two years where Britain and France actively planned and prepared for war against the Soviet Union is not important enough to mention in a 19 word addition in a sentence? --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 12:24, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
It is interesting to see, Martin, how you dismiss the opinion of one author and and unconditionally accept the opinion of another author merely because the latter seems to coincide with your own POW. Regarding Halperin, if you suggest to use this source, we probably should cite her opinion in full, namely, we need to say that she believed that during the period of the Phoney War Britain was exploring a possibility to conclude peace with Germany, seeing the USSR as greater evil (Halperin, op. cit., p. 214). BTW, this viewpoint is suspiciously close to the viewpoint shared by the Soviet historiography, therefore I am not sure to include this views would be correct, however, if a consensus will be to include that, it is absolutely necessary to reproduce the opinion of Halperin in full, and to write that Britain conducted preparation for war with the USSR not because it saw the latter as an ally of Germany, but because it was ready to sign peace with Germany and fight the USSR instead. It will also be necessary to write that Britain was ready to betray Poland and to sign a peace with Germany even if Poland would remain under German occupation. Note, I do not propose to add all of that, because that seems to contradict to what reliable sources say, however, if the decision will be to include Halperin's views, these views must be presented in full.
It also deserves mention that that, according to Halperin, this policy was being conducted during the Phoney war, which lasted only until the end of the Chamberlain's premiership, i.e. until the start of the Battle of France, so I do not understand why are you speaking about "almost two years"...--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:38, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • The Halperin's viewpoint presented on the pages 213-215 is as follows. By contrast to a traditional views, the appeacement policy had not been abandoned by Britain after occupation of Czechoslovakia by Germany. Chamberlain still continued to see the USSR as a greater evil and was trying to come to terms with Germany against the Bolsheviks. British and French guarantees to Poland had not been supported by an adequate strategy in the case of real German attack, no real measures wehe supposed to be taken in the case of war. As aresult, the UK and France declared a war on Germany reluctantly, and the hope that the it would be possible to direct Germany against the USSR still remained. Britain was even ready not to request Germany to leave Poland as a prerequisite for peace agreement. The USSR was concerned about the security of its western borders against the attack from western states, and, to this end, was trying to get naval bases in Finland, a step that had been proposed even by the White (anti-Bolshevik) Russian leader Kolchack in 1919 as a necessary measure, so Halperin sees the territorial expansion of the USSR as a defencive measure against the attack from the West. In 1940, Britain and France were preoccupied with the organisation of the attack of Soviet Caucasus and they overlooked the preparations of Hitler against Norway, which lead to its fast and successful conquest by Nazi Germany.
In summary, these views almost literally coincide with how Soviet historiography described the course of the events. Halperin does not speak about any Nazi-Soviet collaboration, co-belligerence or alliance, by contrast, she speaks about British anti-Soviet position and its readiness to join Germany in its crusade against Bolshevism. Halperin herself describes these views as a revision of the existing viewpoint, however, we can speak here not about revision, but about Halperin's support of the Soviet views, which hardly adds credibility to this book. Clearly, we hardly can use this source (which, by the way, is devoted not to the history of WWII, but to the capitalist development in Europe, and to the social transformation associated with that), however, to use this source as a support of the idea about co-belligerence of the USSR and Germany would be exactly what is called WP:OR ("analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not advanced by the sources"). (--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:21, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I think you are reading more into Halperin's text than what is actually stated, nor does it somehow align with Soviet historigraphy. As this source states[3], while some wished for Anglo-French reconciliation with Germany so that Hitler could be steered eastward against the Soviet Union, and a segment of opinion on both sides of the Channel held that the Soviets were a greater threat to Western civilisation than Germany, the predominant argument for intervention against the SU was based upon the proposition that German and Soviet affairs were clearly so mixed up that Soviet aggression could only have taken place with the knowledge and approval of Germany, and therefore being at war with Germany meant logically that a state of virtual or semibelligerence with the Soviets already existed.
Germany's response to the Winter War particularly its arms embargo on the Finns and how Soviet raw materials undermined the entente's blockade, lended weight to that view. Britain and France increasingly saw the Soviet Union as an aggressive totalitarian power that had evidently aligned itself with another aggressive totalitarian power, Nazi Germany, both of which were seen as enemies of liberal democracy (or capitalism as you call it) and that serious discussion, planning and preparation for possible war against the SU occured. However 'surrealistic' and 'rational analysis' defying it was to consider opening up a second front against the Soviet Union, the British material commitment to sending an expeditionary force increased. As time went on, in terms of numbers of ships made ready and troops earmarked for action, the British share in the undertakaing far exceeded any effort the French (who more strongly supported intevention) were prepared to make. But the 19 words of text I propose to insert makes no comment on the possible motivations or sentiment behind the planning (which is best left to the articles concerned), but just mentions the plain fact that such preparation did occur, which is mentioned in all sources that I have read that discusses that period, thus making it notable. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 01:44, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure the way the discussion develops is productive. You argued that since the source, Halperin, states that France and Britain spent "months" in preparation of aggression against the USSR, we can speak about "almost two years where Britain and France actively planned and prepared for war against the Soviet Union". I argued that (i) that was an exaggeration (Halperin speaks about only a period of Phoney war), that (ii) that cannot be taken out of context (Halperin didn't see these preparation as a sign of Franco-British recognition of the alliance between Nazi and the USSR), that (iii) the views of Halperin are suspiciously close to what Soviet historiography said on that account. You replied that I am wrong because another source presents a different viewpoint on these events (the fact I never tried to contest; moreover, I myself wrote that Halperin considers her views as revisionist). Are you sure it is a correct way to conduct a discussion? Let me remind you that my previous post was devoted not to the real state of things on the eve of WWII, but to the Halperin's views, and by citing another source you by no means confirmed the correctness of your previous attempt to use Halperin's words to support your own viewpoint that was not present in the Halperin's book. By refusal to address the opponent's point you simply insult him.
I'll respond on your post when you will address the major points of my previous post, and I expect that it will be not the pro formae responce.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:45, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I fail to see how the addition of the words ".. making Franco-British plans for intervention in the Winter War and a strategic bombing campaign against Soviet targets in Operation Pike" which describes concrete events introduces any viewpoint what so ever. You seem to be going off on some tangent with regard to Halperin. Could you explain to me what viewpoint these words proposed by me are introducing beyond the fact of the events? I presented the other source precisely to demonstrate that different viewpoints can be held for the same events, that is why these proposed words only speak of the events. Or are you arguing that planning and preparation for intervention against the SU never took place? --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 04:43, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
You yourself came up with Halperin's book as a source supporting your viewpoint. However, after I demonstrated (in my opinion, quite persuasively) that not only this source does not support it, but directly contradict to it, you immediately switched to something else. That is not correct way to conduct a discussion.
I do not argue that planning and preparations of the attack of the USSR did take place, however, various sources disagree about the scale of these preparations, and about the reasons behind that. I do not think that these preparations deserve any mention in this article.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:05, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Moreover, I would say that, whereas the real full scale hostilities started in June 1941 (in Europe), and in Dec 7 (in Pacific), in my opinion, the article devotes too much space to the events, whose scale and strategic implications are not comparable with titanic battles of 1941-45. By adding more and more text to the sections devoted to the pre-1941 period we just increase this imbalance.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:15, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the article is imbalanced in the way you indicate. The only valid rationale for exclusion is insignificance, however you haven't presented any source that disagree with the scale of the preparations. As Patrick Salmon states in the book "The Baltic and the outbreak of the Second World War" on page 95: "By the early months of 1940 it (Finland) had become the principal focus of Allied strategic interest. An expedition to help the Finns in the Winter War.. ..was actually on the point of setting sail when the Finns decided to sue for peace in March 1940. Finland had become the cornerstone of an ambitious, not to say foolhardy, plan for large scale Allied military intervention in Scandinavia". Words like "principal focus of Allied strategic interest" "cornerstone" and "large scale Allied military intervention" speak of something rather significant that should be briefly mentioned by a few words. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 12:53, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I had. The source provided by me demonstrates that only one British brigade was supposed to be sent to the Finnish soil, and its location would exclude any possibility of its participation in hostilities.--Paul Siebert (talk) 13:51, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Bombing of Japan and why

Even though we destroyed all the Japanese fleet, they were not going to surrender. There were a few choices to do. We could of sent in thousands to millions of soldiers to attack Japan's mainland and lose millions. Instead we decided to drop the bomb on Japan. It would of been risky because it killed thousands of Japanese but it ended the War in Japan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sirgeneralbones (talkcontribs) 19:58, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that is a very common stereotype. However, it is not shared by serious historians. --Paul Siebert (talk) 20:23, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Care to elaborate on that? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:26, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I am puzzled by your comment as well, Paul. Are you saying that all serious historians now believe that the atomic bombs were unneccessary and that Japan was going to surrender unconditionally without invasion? Or is your comment only about bits and pieces of SirGeneralBones' comment? Or is it because it reads like a drive-by comment? I have to admit to not reading current academic journals, but I don't think I'm old enough yet for all of my history professors from undergrad to be retired or worse. Please elaborate. --Habap (talk) 20:54, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I am saying what I said, namely that serious historians do not support the idea that "USA dropped the bomb and Japan surrendered". The reality was much more complex than the comics.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:11, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Sources.
  1. Robert A. Pape. Why Japan Surrendered. International Security, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 154-201
    "Because of the dominance of the Army in Japanese decision making, mil- itary vulnerability actually played an even more decisive role in the decision to surrender than the table depicts. The Army paid absolutely no attention to civilian vulnerability, even after the atomic bomb. (...) "the timing of surrender was determined by the Soviet attack and not by the atomic bomb."
  2. Sadao Asada. The Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan's Decision to Surrender: A Reconsideration. Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 67, No. 4 (Nov., 1998), pp. 477-512.
    "The effects of the "twin shocks"—the atomic bombing and the Soviet entry-were profound. Early that morning, Togo visited Suzuki to inform him of the Soviet entry. Suzuki concurred that the government must end the war at once."
  3. Barton J. Bernstein. The Atomic Bombings Reconsidered. Foreign Affairs, Vol. 74, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1995), pp. 135-152.
    "...the Soviets moved up their schedule to August 8, probably because of the Hiroshima bombing, and the Soviet entry did play an important role in producing Japan's surrender on August 14. Soviet entry without the A-bomb might have produced Japans surrender before November."
--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:47, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Paul's correct: the current view seems to be that it was the combination of the atomic bombing and Soviet entry into the war which prompted the Japanese surrender. The overall picture is very complicated though - most of Japan's military and political leadership had known that the war was lost from about mid-1944 and the situation continued to deteriorate rapidly, but due to various issues in how the government was structured the decision to surrender couldn't take place until the combined shock of the atomic bombs and Soviet invasion, and even then it was a near run thing. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey's assessment of these events has a very apt title Japan's Struggle to End the War. Nick-D (talk) 12:06, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
So, it's just that crediting the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with ending the war is simplistic? I can agree that serious historians would find the simplistic explanation overly simplistic. --Habap (talk) 14:15, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, however, even the Nick's explanation is too simple. In actuality, not a combination of atomic bombing plus Soviet invasion affected the decision to surrender, but a combination of naval blockade (which resulted in economic collapse and loss of influence of the navy), conventional bombing (much more devastating than atomic bombing), Soviet entry (which resulted in a loss of any hope to use the USSR as a mediator in prospective negotiations, and dramatic increase of vulnerability of the Home Islands), the Soviet invasion of Manchuria (the loss of the most valuable territorial possessions outside the Home Islands), collapse of Kwantung Army (a demonstration that the land troops in the Home Islands will equally easily collapse in the case of the Allied invasion), all of that contributed to the decision to surrender, so the atomic bombing was not among the major causes. However, interestingly, atomic bombing helped to the Japanese leadership to explain their decision: "our soldiers are brave and courageous, however, they cannot fight in a situation when our scientists appeared to be unable to counterpose anything to the American technological power. We have no choice but surrender, however, it is not because our spirit has been broken". However, although the reference to the atomic bombing as a cause of surrender had been successfully used for propaganda purposes, it had little relation to the real state of things.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:09, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
No doubt Paul is alluding to the Soviet view that dropping the atomic bomb was more aimed at the them than at the Japanese. However, based upon the latest assessments of Japanese archival records, dropping of the bomb resulted in an immediate and direct effect on August 7th within the Japanese leadership regarding surrender and the Supreme War Council was convened to make a decision on August 8th but that was delayed a day due to some members being unavailable. The following day the Soviets entered the war and that was seen as an additional shock that galvanised the Japanese leadership into action in surrendering.[4]. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 04:40, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Martin, your allusion to my bias is on the brink of what is considered to be uncivil according to our policy. Taking into account your own user history, that is hardly acceptable. Please, stop it.
I also advise you to read the sources carefully before attempting to come out with them. The book you cited is a collection of the articles, many of which has been previously published separately. Thus, the chapter you cite is written by Sadao Asada who published it previously in Pacific Historical Review as a separate article (the article #2 quoted by me), so your claim that you came out with something new is somewhat odd. Asada writes that whereas the atomic bomb had convinced Suzuki that the war should be ended, the army had another opinion. In addition, before the Soviet entry Suzuki spoke with Hirohito about peace negotiations, not about unconditional surrender (the only outcome the US would accept). According to Asada (p. 25 in the book you cite and page 479 in the article I used, which coincide verbatim) the immediate cause of surrender was a combination of Hirosima and the Soviet attack, and you either overlooked it (which, I hope, was more probable), or intentionally misinterpreted the source. --Paul Siebert (talk) 15:23, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
What on earth are you talking about? I advise you to tone down your accusations and assumptions of bad faith, it is getting rather tiresome. Your previous post you stated: "In actuality, not a combination of atomic bombing plus Soviet invasion affected the decision to surrender, but a combination of ...." and then you go on to list other factors and then state "However, although the reference to the atomic bombing as a cause of surrender had been successfully used for propaganda purposes, it had little relation to the real state of things", which appears to diminish the importance of the atomic bombing to propaganda level which seems to correspond with the view as published by some authors like Blackett that the atomic bomb was seen as more directed at the USSR as a warning rather than to effect the outcome. I merely posed a link and a summary of Asada's work which relies upon Japanese archival material so people can gauge for themselves the true impact of the bomb. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 21:15, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I am talking about your tendency to describe the viewpoints you dislike as pro-Soviet views. This is especially ridiculous taking into account that I use exclusively mainstream western sources.
I refute your baseless assertion here. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 01:57, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Regarding to the rest part of your post, you are repeating the same mistake: instead of reading carefully the sources you refer to, you prefer to make premature conclusions. Please, read the "The Atomic Bomb as a "Gift from Heaven"" section of the Asada's article (the article #2 cited by be, and, simultaneously, the allegedly "newer" source cited by you) and answer what is the difference between his writings and my summary of that? Please, keep in mind that Asada focuses mostly on the Japanese perception of the situation, not on the real causes of the defeat of Japan. In addition, he carefully discriminate between the defeat and surrender. For actual reasons of the Japanese surrender see Pape (Op. cit.). And, please, in future do not present the same sources I use as some newer sources which I allegedly overlooked.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:20, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
PS. Re Blackett, I have no desire to discuss him as totally irrelevant to the subject of our discussion.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:20, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Asada is correct to see the distinction between defeat and surrender, the former is an objective fact, the latter is a state of mind, and given that this thread is about what prompted the Japanese to surrender then it is correct to use sources that discuss what the Japanese were thinking. In contrast to Nazis Germany which continued fighting until most of Germany was occupied and after Hitler killed himself and they were comprehensively defeated, Japan surrendered while still in control of their home territories and before being completely defeated. While it is entertaining to think "what-if" there was no atomic bomb, it was by no means certain cost to the allies of occupying Japan by force was so high as to make them abandon their attempt. So yes the atomic bombing was a big factor in the Japanese surrender. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 01:57, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for telling us about the Asada's views. Could you please explain me if you see any contradiction between what I write the Asada's views? --Paul Siebert (talk) 05:58, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

"The USSR joined the Allies"?

Currently, the lede states that "The USSR joined the Allies". However, as far as I know, the negotiations between Britain and the USSR (and later the US) were not about Soviet entry into some existing alliance (no such am alliance existed by that moment), but about the formation of new alliance ("The Grand Alliance"). See, e.g., Derek Watson. Molotov, the Making of the Grand Alliance and the Second Front 1939-1942. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 51-85. I suggest to re-phrase to "The USSR formed the alliance with the UK and the US."--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:48, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

At the beginning of the war when Poland was invaded, the allies originally consisted of: Australia, British India, Canada, France, Poland, New Zealand, Union of South Africa and the United Kingdom. So yes, "The USSR joined the Allies" is correct. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 22:28, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
No. Poland was not a member of any full scale alliance. The British (and French) guarantees to Poland stipulated no actions of the former in the case if Poland would be attacked by the power other than Germany. After French defeat the Franco-British alliance ceased to exist, so there were no alliances the USSR could "join". Moreover, the agreement the USSR and Britain signed in Moscow in 1941 was a bilateral agreement, and the alliance between the USA, Britain and the USSR was the new alliance, not an extension of some existing alliance. Please, read the source cited by me (and the Pravda's book cited by the WWII article) for details.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:36, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Um, Britain and France declared war on Germany as a direct result of their guarantees to Poland, do you not recall the British ultimatum to Germany to withdraw from Poland? You seem to have forgotten Australia, Canada and the other countries. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 22:44, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. However, they refused to declare war on the USSR, and that was in full accordance with the secret protocol to their guaranties to Poland. The guaranty to some country is not an alliance. Regarding Australia, Canada, and other members of the Commonwealth, not only I, but, importantly, Stalin, Churchill and later Roosevelt forgot them also, because what was discussed in Moscow in July 1941 was a bilateral agreement between the UK and the USSR, and the formal negotiations that took place on 21 May 1942 were the negotiations between three powers, and this negotiations resulted in signing of the totally new alliance, as far as I know.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:05, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Paul, this is apparent amateur revisionism is tiresome. See Anglo-Polish military alliance or even do a google book search on "Anglo-Polish treaty of alliance" if you are not convinced. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa were independent back in 1939, nobody denies they were allies of Britain from the very beginning of the war. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 01:28, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
What "amateur revisionism" are you talking about? Watson clearly writes about the Anglo-Soviet negotiation, and Britain neither acted on behalf of any third party during these negotiations, nor mentioned any alliance it signed in past. These negotiations were clearly bilateral, and the article contains no mention of any alliance Britain signed before that. These negotiations included recognition of new Soviet border by Britain, not by Poland or other European nations. The Anglo-American-Soviet negotiations in 1942 "were the foundation of the wartime alliance" (Watson, Op. cit., p. 51), which means that no such foundation existed before that. You again are not careful with the word choice. Taking into account that you bring neither good sources nor serious arguments, I don't see why I have to tolerate such behaviour.--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:32, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
It seems uncontroversial to say that 'The USSR joined the Allies' - the 'Allies' of World War II were a temporary grouping which wasn't centred around formal treaties. "The USSR formed the alliance with the UK and the US" is confusing on these grounds (this wording also implies that the USSR took the lead in forming this alliance, which is disputable to say the least given the very close relationship between the UK and US). To my mind, the whole sentence is silly: "The USSR joined the Allies and the largest land theatre of war in history began, which, from this moment on, would tied down the major part of the Axis military power" - this implies that the conflict on the eastern front didn't begin until the USSR joined the Allies (eg, that it started the war with Germany), which contradicts the previous sentence which gets the chronology right. The claim that this fighting "tied down the major part of the Axis military power" is a bit misleading given that it actually freed up Japanese military resources, which contributed to the war in the Pacific expanding dramatically - the current wording implies that it affected Axis resources worldwide, when this wasn't actually the case. Nick-D (talk) 08:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
It was me who recently added this sentence. I recognised that it was a bit of a simplification but the previous version of the intro, frankly, did not clarify that the German-USSR front was part of the wider war. I simplified because, as WP:LEAD says, the introduction "allows editors to avoid lengthy paragraphs and over-specific descriptions, because the reader will know that greater detail is saved for the body of the article" (me emphasis). Perhaps 'The USSR joined the war against the Axis' might be a better phrasing? As for the "tied down the major part of the Axis military power" - that was in the previous version of the introduction. Pretty Green (talk) 09:13, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Saying that the USSR joined the war against the Axis is a bit confusing: this implies that it made an active decision to join the war when in fact it was invaded (and taken by surprise) and the USSR only fought the countries which had invaded it. It wasn't until August 1945 that the USSR declared war on Japan - until this time it had been neutral towards the Japanese, despite them being a member of the Axis. Nick-D (talk) 10:00, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
the USSR actually did join the Allies in a formal way (treaty with Britain etc)--it did not have to do so--note the US did NOT join the Allies in 1917 and Finland (fighting Russia) did not join the Axis.Rjensen (talk) 10:04, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
NB all of this is being discussed at length at Template talk:WW2InfoBox, the two discussions should be merged somehow. -Chumchum7 (talk) 10:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Pretty Green, I've just reverted your addition for the reasons explained above. The statement you added that following the attack on Pearl Harbor "In response, the United States entered into military operations on the Allied side" is also confusing - the US was already conducting limited operations against German submarines in the Atlantic before the outbreak of war, and this text implies that it was the US which initiated a general war against Germany when in fact Germany declared war on the US. Nick-D (talk) 10:15, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
<Reduce indent> Fair enough; frankly I was being bold as I passed through and read the article. I still don't think that the section:

" Britain and the Commonwealth remained the only major force continuing the fight against the Axis in North Africa and in extensive naval warfare. In June 1941, the European Axis launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, giving a start to the largest land theatre of war in history, which, from this moment on, would tied down the major part of the Axis military power. In December 1941, Japan, which had been at war with China since 1937,[4] and aimed to dominate Asia, attacked the United States and European possessions in the Pacific Ocean, quickly conquering much of the region."

does enough to explain that, nuances aside, this continued Axis advance is what brought the USSR and USA into an active role in the war on the Allied side. I'd also note that whilst I recognise that generalisations and causative order are often complex and contested when it comes to major historical events, the role of the lead is to simplify and generalise and to (as I said above copied from WP:LEAD) "avoid... over-specific descriptions, because the reader will know that greater detail is saved for the body of the article". To that end, I'll leave it to the regular editors of this article to decide whether they feel that this section of the lead does enough to explain the progress of the War, but the lead is not necessarily the place for the "well actually's" of precisely what alliances were established between which nations; rather, it is the place to give a generalised and accessible overview, occasionally at the cost of exact precision (see WP:LEAD's comments on precision of geographic location, for example). Pretty Green (talk) 13:50, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Please correct the following in the semi-protected WW2 pages

Under the heading "Spanish Civil War" and concerning the bombing of Guernica, it is proposed to replace :

"[...]with a propaganda figure of 1,654 people killed widely circulated in the west, leading to charges of "terror bombing".[28] In reality the attack was tactical operation against a city with militarily important communications close to the front-line, and modern estimates yield no more than 300 - 400 dead at the high-end.[28][29]"

With :

"[...] with a figure of 1,654 people killed widely circulated in the west, leading to charges of "terror bombing". Some authors consider that the attack was a tactical military operation and reduce casualties to 300 - 400 dead28][29]. However, most historians agree that the bombing was the first systematic terror bombing aiming at totally destroying a urban centre, specifically targetting the civilian population in order to demoralise the enemy (30). This is further demonstrated by the fact that the Francoist forces unsuccessfully tried to blame the Republicans for the destruction of their own city, instead of claiming any argument of military significance to justify the raid. The number of casualties ranges from the lowest estimations above (300) to 1,654 dead and 889 wounded, according to the Basque Government at the time of the bombing, or even up to 5000 as per the testimony of British journalist George Steer, correspondent at the time and place of the Times (30, 31) (30)London Times journalist George Steer wrote at the time:“The bombardment of this open town far behind the lines occupied precisely three hours and a quarter, during which a powerful fleet of aeroplanes consisting of three types of German types, Junkers and Heinkel bombers, did not cease unloading on the town bombs weighing from 1,000 lbs. downwards and, it is calculated, more than 3,000 two-pounder aluminium incendiary projectiles. The fighters, meanwhile, plunged low from above the centre of the town to machinegun those of the civilian population who had taken refuge in the fields.” “George Steer and Guernica,” Preston, Paul. History Today 57 (2007) (31)a compilation of different references and sources can be found in "La destrucción de Guernica", Gérard Brey, Tiempo de Historia nº 29, April 1977, accessed online September 14, 2006. This appears to be a review of Herbert R. Southworth, La destrucción de Guernica, (Ruedo Ibérico, Paris, 1975).

Emanation : Authors claiming real military importance are isolated from the overwhelming majority of historians who consider that the main goal of the bombing was to inflict fear in the adversary by destroying a civilian city of historical importance for the Basque Country and therefore for the Republic. This is further demonstrated by the fact that the Francoist forces tried to blame the Republicans, instead of using any argument of military significance, for the destruction of the city. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 158.169.9.14 (talk) 11:56, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

In my opinion, both the present and proposed texts are unsatisfactory, because they pay undue attention to this pre-WWII event. Can you please propose a very brief (one sentence long) description of bombing of Guernica?--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:21, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I believe both the Spanish Civil War and the bombing of Guernica must be borne in mind to understand causes and roots of WW2. But I recognise the need for conciseness, and also that the link between the two historical events could more detailed. With that in mind I would propose to replace the original text between brackets above with:

"The bombing and total destruction of Guernica by the Luftwaffe's francoist "Legion Condor" is widely considered as the first systematic terror bombing aiming at totally destroying a urban centre, specifically targetting the civilian population in order to demoralise the enemy, and the main precedent for the widespread use of such terror bombings during World War 2. Casualties were very numerous but the exact deathtoll is still unknown, with estimates varying widely from the lowest figure of 300 up to 5000 (30, 31)

(30)London Times journalist George Steer wrote at the time:“The bombardment of this open town far behind the lines occupied precisely three hours and a quarter, during which a powerful fleet of aeroplanes consisting of three types of German types, Junkers and Heinkel bombers, did not cease unloading on the town bombs weighing from 1,000 lbs. downwards and, it is calculated, more than 3,000 two-pounder aluminium incendiary projectiles. The fighters, meanwhile, plunged low from above the centre of the town to machinegun those of the civilian population who had taken refuge in the fields.” “George Steer and Guernica,” Preston, Paul. History Today 57 (2007) (31)a compilation of different references and sources can be found in "La destrucción de Guernica", Gérard Brey, Tiempo de Historia nº 29, April 1977, accessed online September 14, 2006. This appears to be a review of Herbert R. Southworth, La destrucción de Guernica, (Ruedo Ibérico, Paris, 1975). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 158.169.9.14 (talk) 12:30, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

In support of the above, I would like to note that the current text is clearly inaccurate and could almost be interpreted as a justification of the bombing, as it seems to imply that the bombing of Guernica was a military operation, and that "propaganda" figures were used to magnify the event. In reality it was the first terror blanket bombing, carried out against a civilian city with little, possibly none, military value. The current text is tantamount to revisionism in as far as it seems to minimise the actions of the Nazi Luftwaffe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.240.110.66 (talk) 20:57, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

The bombing of Gernika was indeed the first blanket bombing in history and a test for all other blanket bombings to come during WW2. Therefore the suggested corrections make a lot of sense. Right now this part of the article is grossly misleading. It reflects badly on the whole article which is otherwise of good quality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.240.154.219 (talk) 21:36, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Respected historian Antony Beevor says "According to the Basque government, approximately a third of the town's population were casualties – 1,654 killed and 889 wounded, although more recent research indicates that no more than between 200 and 300 died." (Beevor, Antony (2006). The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. London: Phoenix. p. 232. ISBN 0753821656. ) Yes, it was the first carpet bombing in history, and it was clearly intended to reduce Guernica to ashes. The lower estimates of death may be from the fact that many people took shelter or fled to the fields. Binksternet (talk) 16:37, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, Beevor supports those casualty figures, and cites them to two Spanish-language books. He doesn't support the statement that "the attack was tactical operation against a city with militarily important communications close to the front-line", however, and quotes the Condor Legion's war diary to demonstrate that the town was the target of the raid rather than any clear cut military objective as this wording implies. Beevor also doesn't label the initial casualty figures "propaganda". I agree that the USAF thesis isn't a good source for this article though (which really should only use the highest quality sources given the huge amount which has been professionally published on the war). Taking this into account, I'd suggest that the wording be changed to:
The deliberate Bombing of Guernica, a city of 5000 - 7000 inhabitants, by the German Condor Legion was considered a horrifying attack in Britain and the United States. While the Basque government claimed that 1,654 people had been killed in the raid, recent research has estimated that between 200 and 300 people were killed.[1]
Thoughts? Nick-D (talk) 23:41, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
That works. In light of this article's wide reach, more than that is too much emphasis. Binksternet (talk) 00:17, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Frankly speaking, that proposal opens a Pandora box. We have an unspoken agreement not to include the figures into the "Course of the war" section, and I see no reason for focusing on the numbers in this particular case (in contrast to bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima, Coventry, Stalingrad, etc). Moreover, if the discussion of the figures is appropriate here, it is even more relevant to the discussion of the major WWII battles (which currently includes no numbers).
In my opinion, since the number of casualties is really unimpressive (as compared to the WWII events), we hardly can discuss it at all. Instead of that, we need to convey the idea that Guernica was the first case of the mass bombing of the civilian city. --Paul Siebert (talk) 02:12, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Those are good points Paul. How about:
The deliberate Bombing of Guernica by the German Condor Legion in April 1937 contributed to widespread concerns that the next major war would include extensive terror bombing attacks on civilians.[2][3]
The articles on the raid and the Condor Legion discuss the differing estimates of casualties. Nick-D (talk) 02:47, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
That is much better. I support it.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:50, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

grammar

in the section, "course of the war", isn't the following bad grammar; don't semicolons have to separate two complete sentences?

Though Poland was divided by Germany, the Soviet Union, Lithuania and Slovakia; the Poles didn't surrender and established a Polish Underground State and the insurgent Home Army, and continued to fight on Allied fronts outside Poland.[48]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.170.77.1 (talk) 11:40, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Correct. It should be a comma, not a semicolon. MitchStein (talk) 16:21, 13 August 2011 (UTC)


A minor detail, but I feel this compound sentence is overly cumbersome. It took me several reads in order to "get" it. Could someone knowledgeable on the subject rewrite it, possibly breaking it into two separate sentences?

In December 1941, Japan, which had been at war with China since 1937,[3] and aimed to dominate Asia, attacked the United States and European possessions in the Pacific Ocean, quickly conquering much of the region.

Issues with the Nazi-Soviet / Baltic paragraph

These unilateral edits [5] are not an improvement to the paragraph in question, which currently reads:

In June, during the last days of the Battle of France, the Soviet Union initiated staged elections in the Baltic states and forcefully and illegally annexed them,[52] followed by the annexation of the region of Bessarabia in Romania. While some authors consider the increased cooperation between the USSR and Nazi Germany, which included broad economic cooperation, population exchange and border agreements as making Soviet Union a de facto German ally,[68][69] Soviet takeover of the Baltic states, Bessarabia and North Bukovina had been seen with dismay and disquiet by Germany.[70][71] This, as well as growing tensions over spheres of influence demonstrated the impossibility of improvements of German-Soviet relations, and both states understood unevitability of their future conflict.[72]

The paragraph has long-term POV issues around a highly controversial topic area. First, war is never inevitable (and that includes war between the Soviets and Nazis), but the narrator suggests otherwise. Second, the word "de facto" is not used by the references used, but the narration suggests it is. Third, we need to add at least one reference stating the Nazi-Soviet relationship was not an a alliance, if the narrator is to dispute or play down the thesis in the 12+ available references that overtly state it was an alliance. Fourth, the amount of "dismay and disquiet" Germany really felt at the Soviet takeovers is presented by the narrator as an important and objective fact, when it appears to be a matter of opinion (and possibly slightly undue). Finally, calling the Soviet takeovers "illegal", again, is subjective (because Stalin's regime, at the very least, did not see them as illegal). The whole paragraph needs a write-through for neutrality. This is tough as it certainly is an emotional subject, one that has a long history of dramas on Wikipedia (just see DIGWUREN). Am inviting proposals here before I eventually get round to having a go myself (am ever more retired from WP). -Chumchum7 (talk) 14:17, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

The idea that the war between the USSR and Nazi Germany was not inevitable is shared by minority of scholars. The war was inevitable, and that fact became obvious after November 1940. Both sides were conducting massive preparation for the war, although Stalin tried to postpone it, whereas Hitler planned to attack as soon as his hands would be untied in the Balkans (see Roberts, op. cit., for the details). Therefore, I see no problem with this wording. Moreover, since the previous wording "had begun the countdown to war" has been taken verbatim from the Roberts' book, the new wording is preferable for copyright reasons.
Re "dismay and disquiet", again, since this Soviet step would be subsequently cited by Hitler among the formal reasons for starting Barbarossa, this wording seems quite adequate.
Re "illegal", I think our Baltic colleagues will object against removal of this word, because when the Baltic states are being discussed anywhere in Wikipedia, they would like to see the phrase "illegal annexation", not just "annexation". Although I do not found that absolutely necessary, I have no major objections against that.
With regard to the rest, I don't think the para has any neutrality issues: it presents both classical and revisionist views on the Nazi-Soviet relations, and it dose that adequately. Please, explain what concretely is wrong here. (I believe the question of inevitability of the war has been closed).--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:12, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
The mainstream scholarly view regards the annexation of the Baltic states as illegal. If you want to add the Stalinist/Soviet/Russian view to it, go ahead but just leave the relevant mainstream information alone. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 17:42, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Although you are right, the formula "illegally annexed" is used only by a part of sources, and the word "illegally" is being frequently omitted, depending on context. Therefore, by omission of this word we will hardly commit any sin against neutrality, especially, taking into account that, in this particular case, illegality is clear from the context (how can forceful annexation, which had been done after staged elections, be "legal"?), so this word is redundant here. However, I see no serious problem with this word, so if you insist on the word "illegally" (as I expected), I don't see why cannot it stay.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:29, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree it should stay. All sources that explicitly discuss the annexation conclude it was illegal, no scholarly source contends it was any way legal. Since the term alone "annexation" often implies legal incorporation in the minds of the reader, for example Texas Annexation, we need to qualify the term with "illegal". --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 22:08, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
There's no question whether the subject of legality should stay (it absolutely should), but how accuracy and objectivity (and while we're at it, wordflow) on the paragraph can be improved. For these proposes, a change from: "the Soviet Union initiated staged elections in the Baltic states and forcefully and illegally annexed them," to "the Soviet Union rigged elections in the Baltic states then forcibly annexed them in breach of international law," -Chumchum7 (talk) 13:35, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Second, we should similarly take a closer look at the subsequent lines in the sentence. Roberts himself refers to the Nazi-Soviet relationship as an "alliance", and Sambian's recent tweaks "While some authors consider..." now gives the impression this is a minorty view. Understanding that Sambian may have not seen the note on the edit page about conferring on the Talk page (I also didn't notice it at first) Sambian should self-revert and discuss. The rephrase should be more along the lines of: "The Nazi-Soviet relationship was not a mutual security treaty, but cooperation was close enough for historians including Roberts, Snyder, Ferguson and Rees to term it an "alliance", a position that is contested by XXX, YYY and ZZZ. The Nazis and Soviets conducted population exchanges, border agreements, massive trade deals and some military cooperation. By early 1941 communication broke down, and Germany was preparing to attack the USSR. Thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 13:35, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I do not think the proposed sentence about the Baltic states to add anything to the existing text, and I do not think it is more accurate.
Regarding the latter proposal, as a rule, this summary style article does not discuss such controversies (which belong to the daughter articles). In addition, the proposed text is inaccurate. Firstly, Roberts does not call the Nazi-Soviet pact an "alliance" (except the the chapter's title, "Unholy Alliance", where it is obviously used as just an allegoric antithesis to the "Holy Alliance"), so it is simply incorrect to refer to him in this context. Secondly, the scholars XXX, YYY, ZZZ (such as Carr, Beloff, Gorodetsky and others), are not revisionist but mainstream historians, so the situation is reverse: whereas they do not consider Nazi-Soviet pact as an alliance (a classical mainstream viewpoint), their viewpoint has been contested by some revisionist historians such as ....
In any event, I do not think we need to devote a space in this article to this controversy.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:42, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Regarding Chumchum7's proposal on the Baltic issue, I think the goal is not to add more accuracy but more flow, and we should take the advice from a native English speaker. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 09:33, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Jaan, as far as I know linguistic precision helps flow and accuracy come along together. That's the intention. Afaics there is an important, though indeed small, linguistic, legal and POV distinction between something being illegal and something being in breach of international law (imo GTMO is an important case study). As to the accuracy of Roberts referring to a German-Soviet alliance, here is Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin's wars: from World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (2006), p.60: "In September 1939 Stalin had replied to Ribbentrop's congratulatory telegram on his 60th birthday with a dramatic public affirmation of the durability of the German-Soviet alliance: 'the friendship between the peoples of the Soviet Union and Germany, cemented by blood, has every reason to be solid and lasting'. A year later, however, the two states had begun the countdown to war." [6]. That's a mainstream source describing a period of the Nazi-Soviet relationship as an "alliance"; there are at least ten more such sources using the term. Wikipedia's use of the term should be totally uncontroversial if Carr et al don't clearly state the Nazi-Soviet relationship wasn't ever an alliance. FWIW (ie not that much), the term "alliance" appears to have the support of consensus at Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In any case Sambian's revision unwittingly ignored the WWII Edit page header that prompts editors to discuss changes here first (it should be much more prominent and can be easily missed), I've given him enough courtesy time to self-revert so I'll revert his change just as anyone else's unilateral changes tend to be reverted at WWII. Sambian is always very welcome to join the discussion, and to bring his or her kitten. Thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 09:52, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I see no problem with restoring the old version, because I think it is rather adequate. Nevertheless, to replace the "countdown to war" with the SK's wording is desirable per non-free content guidelines.
Re Roberts, I am not sure you understand him correctly, because in the text you quoted he refers to the Stalin's views, and he does not express his own opinion. In his book, he uses the word "alliance" very frequently, however, almost exclusively not in Nazi-Soviet context. In any event, the classical mainstream viewpoint is that MRP was not an alliance (and definitely not a military alliance), and that fact should be presented accordingly.--Paul Siebert (talk) 13:55, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree that this quote is not a good reference to assess the German-Soviet relationship. As much as I know, the Soviet Union never joined the Axis. Therefore we can only speak of co-belligerence. But we need better sources for that. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 17:42, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, us using words like 'countdown' and 'inevitability' don't seem in keeping with Wikipedia standards. Speaking of which, the word 'whereas' in the paragraph is being used in an editorializing manner: the sentence sets up information and then qualifies it with additional information, giving implications that are not to be found in the sources referenced in the first clause. Per WP:OPED, we could avoid this. Another thing - the sentence about Nazi dismay and disquiet is pretty dubious. Wikipedia is obviously not in the business of taking Nazi 'feelings' at face value, let alone extrapolating theories about Nazi diplomacy from them. It should be cut. -Chumchum7 (talk) 18:42, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Further to that, this solution to the paragraph seems to flow better:
Modern scholarship frequently refers to the Nazi-Soviet ties during this early-War period as an 'alliance'; it was not a mutual security treaty but included massive trade deals, some military assistance, intelligence cooperation, population exchange, border agreements and talks on grand strategy. In June 1940, while Germany campaigned in western Europe, the Soviet Union advanced in eastern Europe: it rigged elections in the Baltic states and annexed them in breach of international law, it then forced Romania to cede its region of Bessarabia. From late 1940 to early 1941, Nazi-Soviet relations steadily deteriorated, especially after the Axis was joined by Japan in September, Romania in November and Bulgaria in March, with the Soviet Union being excluded. From December, Germany secretly prepared to invade the USSR.
Cheers, -Chumchum7 (talk) 20:48, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Cannot agree that the proposed text is an improvement.
  1. "Modern scholarship frequently refers to ..." It is not correct to say that that tendency is specific for modern scholarship only, thus, whereas deceased Nekrich, who was hardly a modern scholar, was a proponent of this theory, Geoffrey Roberts (a contemporary scholar) does not support it. This wording creates an impression that the viewpoint you advocate is gradually becoming mainstream, which is hardly the case.
  2. "the Nazi-Soviet ties during this early-War period as an 'alliance'; it was not a mutual security treaty but included massive trade deals" IMO that is simply a poor text, because "ties" cannot be a "treaty". They can manifest themselves in some treaty (among other things). In addition, the word "ties" hardly reflects all aspects of this story. The word "relations" is much more adequate in this case.
  3. "included massive trade deals, some military assistance, intelligence cooperation, population exchange, border agreements and talks on grand strategy." Population exchange is more a sign of tensions then of cooperation. I cannot imagine a population exchange (leading to the decrease of ethnic diversity) between two really friendly nations. Border agreement is per se not a sign of any cooperation.
  4. "and talks on grand strategy" Failed talks on grand strategy. By omission of this word, you created a completely biased picture.
  5. "In June 1940, while Germany campaigned in western Europe, the Soviet Union advanced in eastern Europe:" This text advances a theory (about the USSR and Germany acting in concert during late 1939 - early 1941) that is not supported by many contemporary historians. Thus, Roberts see here not a sign of cooperation, but deep Stalin's concern about Soviet security in a situation when Germany overwhelmingly easily and successfully conquered almost whole Europe, so the USSR found itself face by face with a powerful opponent.
  6. "the Axis was joined by Japan in September, Romania in November and Bulgaria in March, with the Soviet Union being excluded" Not "excluded" but "not included". To be excluded, one has to be previously included, which had never been the case for the Axis and the USSR.
In summary, the proposed text has no advantages over the existing one, and had many neutrality and synthesis issues.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:14, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Re inevitability, I see no problem to use this word in a situation when it adequately reflects the state of things. What mainstream sources question the fact that starting from late 1940 the war between the USSR and Germany was inevitable?
Re "dismay and disquiet". What concrete wording do you propose to describe the fact that the annexation of the Baltic states lead to deterioration of the diplomatic relations between Germany and the USSR? (I believe you agree that that fact needs to be mentioned).--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:24, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't think there was anything "inevitable" about it, the SU were actively negotiating with Germany to enter the Tripartite Pact at that time, Molotov as late as November 25th set out Moscow's terms for entry into the Pact. As far as "dismay and disquiet" over the annexation of the Baltic states, it is over stating it to say that led to deterioration of the diplomatic relations. It was a combination of many factors including Moscow's anger at being excluded from arbitrating the Hungary/Romanian territorial dispute, Stalin's objections at being assigned a junior role within the proposed German-led global alliance and Hitler's suspicion of a reproachment between Britain and the SU, as well as a military build up in the annexed Baltic states that led to the deterioration of the diplomatic relations. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 01:16, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Regarding "inevitable", the Nov 25th initiative was the last attempt of the Soviet leadership to do anything that would lead to more or less prolonged improvement of Soviet-German relations, and Stalin had almost no hope that that would lead to anything concrete. Note, by that moment the preparation for Barbarossa had already started. In any event, since under "late 1940" I meant late November - December, I think we can speak (following what Roberts says) about inevitability of the war starting from this moment.
No. I am talking about the German attitude, not about Soviet one. Roberts clearly says that annexation of the Baltic states was one of the signals for Germany that the short period of friendship between the USSR and Germany had ended.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:42, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Not really. Roberts states what wrecked Soviet-nazi relations and negotiations to enter a formal alliance with Germany was the SU's reluctance to take on Britain. Hitler was focused on defeating Britain, and saw Britain placing hope of survival on the SU, so Hitler's supposed that if the SU could be defeated Britain would surrender, hence he asked his military to begin planning for an attack in July, but at the same time cultivated relations with the SU. It was typical of Hitler's early style to have many parallel plans in the pipeline so that he would be prepared for any eventuality. Later that year when the SU and Germany were negotiating a formal alliance, the decisive question from the German point of view was whether the SU was prepared to co-operate with the Germans in liquidating the British Empire. But when the SU refused to give such an undertaking but instead offered their own terms that conflicted with German hegemony in Europe, combined with the Soviets in apparent discussion with Britain, lead to Hitler giving the go-ahead to invasion. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 02:07, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
"Reluctance to take of Britain" is an exaggeration. Roberts write about reluctance to burn the bridges with Britain and France (p. 41), so any possibility to "take on Britain" was ruled out by definition. In addition, whereas Molotov clearly announced Soviet dealignment of the USSR in European politics, he also clearly articulated that that did not mean Soviet alignment alongside Germany (p. 34).
With regard to Hitler's early preoccupation with Britain, that is one of existing viewpoints, however, Roberts provides another explanation (see pages 58-60). --Paul Siebert (talk) 03:13, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
It is entirely understandable that the SU was reluctant to burn bridges with Britain, but Britain was the key issue that was a deal breaker for the Germans, on page 59: "The log jam in the negotiations was summed up by this sharp exchange between Molotov and Ribbentrop at their last meeting on 14 November... He (Ribbentrop) could only repeat again and again that the decisive question was whether the Soviet Union was prepared and in a position to co-operate with us in the great liquidation of the British Empire. On all other questions we would easily reach an understanding." So clearly that was the main issue in the minds of the Germans at that time. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 03:59, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure I understand what concretely do you propose.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:22, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I broadly agree with Chumchum7 that war wasn't inevitable, both sides did conduct negotiations to formalise their defacto alliance. On the otherhand the current text isn't that bad. I propose some minor tweaking: In June, during the last days of the Battle of France, the Soviet Union illegally annexed the Baltic states via rigged elections,[52] followed by the annexation of the region of Bessarabia in Romania, which had been seen with dismay and disquiet by Germany[70][71]. Whereas the increased cooperation between the USSR and Nazi Germany, which included broad economic cooperation, limited military assistance, population exchange and border agreements made the former a de facto German ally,[68][69] tension increased over spheres of influence during formal alliance negotiations. These negotiations effectively broke down in November on the question of Soviet Union's attitude towards Britain and both states had begun preparations for war.[72] --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 07:30, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Martin, this is progress. Indeed, the principle about inevitability is that it has no place in academic history at all. To repeat a phrase attributed to historian AJP Taylor, "nothing is inevitable until it happens," or Benjamin Franklin, "nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes". Any range of things could have happened in early 1941 that might have stopped a Nazi-Soviet war, such as an assassination of Hitler or other weird and wonderful variables. Writers may use license to apply the word as a euphemism for "very likely", but anyone with a background in academic history at Wikipedia would want to avoid it. I'd gladly have this double-checked with an RFC at MILHIST or elsewhere. On Martin's text, (i) I support his inclusion of formal Nazi-Soviet alliance negotiations despite the fact they failed (and the proposed carve-up of the British Empire proved to be a fantasy); the inclusion is required because (a) the talks had concrete strategic significance for Hitler's campaigning in the west (while Hitler kept the USSR talking, his back was covered) and (b) are part of the explanation for the deterioration of Nazi-Soviet relations. (ii) I still can't accept the use of the qualifier "whereas", and per WP:OPED it needs to be cut. (iii) Our coverage of the purported Nazi emotions of "dismay and disquiet" remain tasteless or even offensive to anyone who doubts the Nazis were a sincere bunch of people. If they expressed an objection to the Soviet annexation of Bessarabia (did they?) then we can say that if and only if it is especially relevant (is it?); but Wikipedia certainly does not care about the feelings of Nazi officials. They probably also felt dismay and disquiet that the Soviet Union was run by a Jewish conspiracy, and we don't include such codswallop either. (iv) Finally, isn't the chief cause of the Nazi invasion of the USSR generally held to be Hitler's political will to fulfil a long-term plan, rather than German-Soviet disagreements over spheres of influence, or the failure of the USSR to attack the British Empire? Also, the period of deterioration in relations was not purely acrimonious, there was also the German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement in January 1941 that afaik settled outstanding Nazi-Soviet issues about Lithuania and Bessarabia. And just to check, is it entirely safe to say the Soviet Union was actively preparing for war in a manner comparable to Germany? Is this verifiable? (v) In summary, I'd further tweak Martin's text to: In June, during the last days of the Battle of France, the Soviet Union rigged elections in the Baltic states and annexed them in breach of international law.[52] It then forced Romania to cede the region of Bessarabia, which Germany said it objected to (CHECK).[70][71] The USSR and Nazi Germany were de facto allies; cooperation included broad economic cooperation, limited military assistance, population exchange and border agreements.[68][69] In late 1940, during formal alliance negotiations, tension rose over spheres of influence. The negotiations broke down in November on the question of Soviet Union's attitude towards Britain. A last big trade agreement in January 1941 also resolved border issues, but both(CHECK) powers were preparing for war against each other.[72] Thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 08:52, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Re "i". Since we have previously achieved consensus that failed talks do not belong to this article, the mention of the Soviet-Axis talk had been removed. Nevertheless, I have no objections against their re-adding, provided that all other important failed talks will also be covered in the article. In particular, the failed Triple Alliance negotiations (the negotiation about a full anti-German military and political alliance between the USSR, France and Britain, which would prevent WWII) should be discussed, along with the reason of the failure of the political talks (disagreement over Estonia and Latvia, and their anti-Soviet position), and of the military talks (refusal of Poland to cooperate).
Re "ii" If I understand correctly, "whereas" reflects the position of mainstream scholars, who note that despite the short period of Soviet-German rapprochement, tensions started to grow between these two countries, which eventually lead to the war between them. Therefore, "whereas" is totally relevant here.
Re "iii" I suggest to replace it with "saw as an unfriendly act".
Re "iv" You mix long term goals and the Hitler's decision to attack the USSR in the first half of 1941.
Re "v" I do not think the proposed text is an improvement. In particular, I object against the statement that the USSR and Nazi Germany were de facto allies. Not only that is not a commonly accepted viewpoint, which is not shared by many leading historians, to write that would mean to confuse a reader: if two countries are the allies, they fight the common enemy, which was not the case (except probably the short period during late September - early October, 1939, when we can speak about co-belligerence at most). The reference to the Soviet-Japanese relation is not the argument, because the agreement between Germany and Japan explicitly stipulated that Japan is free from an obligation to declare a war of the USSR in the case if Germany would do that. Therefore, after reading this statement, a reasonable reader may conclude that the USSR was at war with Britain, France and Poland during that time, which was obviously not the case. Regarding my other arguments, which have been ignored totally (for instance, the argument that population exchange is hardly a sign of friendly relations, just the opposite), I have no desire to repeat them. Please, re-read and address.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:11, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Chumchum7 that overage of the purported Nazi emotions of the Baltic takeover of "dismay and disquiet" is misleading, as is Paul's amended "saw as an unfriendly act" which is synthesis. Diplomatic cables paint an entirely different picture:
"The unresisted reinforcement of Russian troops in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia and the reorganization of the Governments of the Baltic States, sought by the Russian Government to bring about more reliable cooperation with the Soviet Union, are the concern of Russia and the Baltic States. Therefore, in view of our unaltered friendly relations with the Soviet Union, there is no reason for nervousness on our part, which some of the foreign press has tried to impute to us in only too transparent a manner."[7].
Molotov then justifies the action against the Baltic states as "necessary to put an end to all the intrigues by which England and France had tried to sow discord and mistrust between Germany and the Soviet Union in the Baltic States"!! --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 03:34, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I have no idea what "synthesis" are you talking about: I did not combine sources to reach a conclusion that in not explicitly made by none of them. By contrast, you draw a conclusion from the primary sources (Avalon documents are primary sources), which is WP:OR.
It is absolutely amateurish to interpret primary sources literally. By the way, for any reasonable person is clear that if some ministry issues a secret communique that states that there is no reasons for nervousness, then in actuality the reasons for nervousness are very serious (otherwise there would be no need in such a communique). Moreover, afaik, the worst news usually start with the words "there is no reasons for nervousness...".--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:17, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
One should mention that the allegation of anti-Soviet Anglo-Franco intrigue is a theme that is carried forth prominently in Soviet dogma after WWII, that, of course, does not mean that what is said might still not be more propaganda than fact. We should be careful to treat all archives with a grain of salt. That also extends to our representation of any scholarship that takes any archives at their word without further corroboration. I do have to also mention that historical evidence does show that the Soviet invasion of the Baltics was a tipping point toward Hitler's invasion of the USSR. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 15:11, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Many scholars, including some of those already cited by me on this talk page, speak about real Stalin's fear the Anglo-German alliance directed against the USSR, which were especially strong after the Munich crisis and the Hess flight. Please, read the sources, or, if you have no access to them, believe in what I write: I cannot constantly post the quotes from copyrighted articles here, per our non free content policy. You should also familiarise yourself with different competing paradigms in the British policy towards Germany (Vansitart line vs Chamberlain line): there was some ground for Stalin's fears.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:16, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

the twenty classes

I added the situation of the minorities in Turkey during world war II. Forced labour work etc. A contributer reverted the edit and stated that Turkey was not involved in the war and the link is broken. First of all link is not broken http://www.noravank.am/upload/pdf/5.Ruben%20Melkonyan_02_2010.pdf If you can not open it you can type " ON SOME PROBLEMS OF THE ARMENIANNATIONAL MINORITY IN TURKEY " on the google and you will find the pdf document easily. Secondly this situation is directly related to the WW II because the minorities were enslaved when the war started with the cover of there is a potential war risk we need soldiers and they released when the Germany lost the war. It is 100% related to the WW II war crimes. The only problem might be that I was not able to summarize it efficiently. It took too many sentences. If someone with a better English can summarize that event in two sentences with looking to my edit and the reference it would be really nice.Ali55te (talk) 22:50, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

By the way the related section is on the second page of the reference.Ali55te (talk) 22:54, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Given that Turkey wasn't a participant in the war and this was a fairly minor issue in the scheme of things, I don't see how this is relevant to this high level article. Similar issues in other countries aren't covered for this reason (for instance, the discriminatory way in which African Americans were treated, the conscription and maltreatment of native New Guineans by both the Australian and Japanese Army, etc). Nick-D (talk) 10:46, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Obvious omission

I corrected the obvious omission in the lead (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). The incorrect impression being left by prior wikilink and wording was that commercial agreements between Germany and the USSR somehow facilitated a "nominally neutral" USSR invading its European neighbors. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 15:18, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Regarding this revert, I am pedagogically gobsmacked as to how a commercial treaty merits inclusion in the lead while the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact does not. Discussion in the article does not ameliorate the lead creating a false impression of historical circumstances by:
  • omitting mention of an agreement as to the bifurcation of Eastern Europe between Germany and the USSR;
  • omitting mention of that bi-furcation coming to fruition;
  • painting the USSR as interested only in economic relations with Germany and being "neutral" even while invading its neighbors.
I maintain that mention of the M-R pact is essential to any summary, no matter how brief, regarding Germany and the USSR in WWII. Perhaps editors other than those who could be characterized as picking sides regarding Paul Siebert and myself might respond. If there is insufficient response I will consider taking this to a wider request for comment—although, quite frankly, that is likely to degenerate to the usual empirical "sides". I respectfully request Paul Siebert reconsider his deletion of vital material so we don't wind up edit-warring. Rather than an immediate response, I suggest Paul Siebert take the next 24 hours to consider so we don't degenerate into an avalanche of knee-jerk reactions here. (That also extends to other editors reverting his revert.) PЄTЄRS J V TALK 15:36, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
First of all, there is an agreement among the users working on this article to refrain from major changes (and the modification of the lede is a major change) without discussion, so my revert was in full accordance with the normal practice accepted here.
Secondly, in 1939-41, the USSR
  1. After failed attempts to create an anti-German alliance with western powers, signed a non-aggression pact with Germany, and was neutral during the first phase of the war;
  2. Expanded its territory at cost of its EE neighbours (in many cases, without any hostilities and declaration of war);
  3. Formalised its new territorial acquisitions by the border agreement with Germany.
The lede in its previous form conveys that information quite adequately. everything else is just editorial judgements, which hardly belong to the lede. The lede does not mention international treaties (including such important treaties as the Tripartite treaty and the Grand Alliance), and I do not understand why the MRP should be an exception from this rule. The idea that the MRP stipulated territorial division of EE is also not universally supported, because some scholars believe the division was a result of later events.
And, finally, the edit I reverted was simply incorrect, because it places a responsibility for division of EE on the USSR only, and redundant, because the territorial expansion of the USSR has already been discussed in the previous sentence.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:53, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
PS Re your proposal about my 24 hours abstention from responding on your post, I do not understand this idea: the strength of the arguments hardly depends on the time they are being put forward, and if other users have something to say, they will do that. Regarding your idea to initiate a request for comments, feel free to do that. However, please, keep in mind that this article is already being watchlisted by a large number of users, so I doubt RfC will have additional effect.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:24, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I find your self-admitted pro-Soviet viewpoint telling here, particularly your "no hostilities" version of the USSR invading, subjugating its neighbors and deporting and murdering their citizens. Shall I remind you of Malksoo's "crushed" and "occupied" the Baltics (a scholar for whom you once expressed respect and advocated as using as an unbiased source regarding the Baltics)? The notion that the Soviet invasion was more of an intervention (your exact word elsewhere) is what represents fringe scholarship here. You stand behind "some" scholars suggesting that, perhaps, the Baltics and Eastern Europe were not invaded, crushed, and occupied by either/both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union—or the notion that actions discussed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union prior to the invasion regarding the invasion do not represent co-belligerence (which word I'm willing to leave for the article body). However, leaving MRP out of the lead is—to my mind—a violation of every principle of creating NPOV informative content. As for giving it a day, your puzzlement only seems to confirm your certainty in your position. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 01:20, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Regarding the meme that the USSR was forced into certain actions, that its actions were not crimes against its sovereign Eastern European neighbors, if not crimes against humanity, that the USSR's actions were justified, I'm reminded of Dostoyevsky: "There are points of view, in fact, from which one is almost brought to justify the criminal. But in spite of all possible points of view everyone will admit that there are crimes which always and everywhere from the beginning of the world, under all legal systems, have unhesitatingly been considered crimes, and will be considerd so as lon as man remains human. Only in prison I have heard stories of the most terrible, the most unnatural actions, of the most monstrous murders told with the msot spontaneous, childishly merry laughter." PЄTЄRS J V TALK 02:19, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Removing even mentioning of the Pact by Paul [8] goes against NPOV policy. Please restore. Biophys (talk) 02:23, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
The claim is clear, however, it is totally unsupported with arguments and sources, so it has zero weight.
@ Peters. Following your advise, I will respond on your post later. Let me also give you my advise: in a situation when you still haven't apologized for one recent personal attack on another talk page (or haven't explained your behaviour, in the case if I misunderstood your words), it is not too wise to throw new accusations in POV pushing and in my bias. --Paul Siebert (talk) 02:57, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
PЄTЄRS/Vecrumba and Hodja/Biophys: please stop throwing around allegations of NPOV violations. They are really unhelpful. Nick-D (talk) 10:50, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
With what you know is my genuine respect, Nick-D, I have to say that these users are only doing precisely what we prompt them to do here - voice their concerns. Secondly, to some extent these users have legitimate grievances, some of which I and several other editors might well be willing to support under certain circumstances. Third, they are certainly not the only ones on this page who have alleged others' bias and therefore should not be singled out; they're not exhibiting the most competitive, tendentious or uncivil behaviour; nor are they displaying ownership tendencies. You might have been a tad unfair there mate. -Chumchum7 (talk) 11:14, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I think that it's possible to have a much more civil discussion about this topic than the above. I tend to agree that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is worth linking to in the lead, but there's no need for a heated discussion of this; it's only a Wikipedia article :) Nick-D (talk) 11:25, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Agree with the reasoning by Paul Siebert. Also can't see why the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact should be singled out to mention in the lead. Surely the Munich Agreement deserves to be there no less. And then there rises a question why not to expand the introduction with even more history of pre-war diplomacy.. I hope everybody understand that the lead is not a suitable and large enough place for this. GreyHood Talk 11:30, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
@Greyhood, then I'll be content with the link to MRP put into the sentence which feels its important enough to mention a commercial agreement but not an agreement which sealed the fate of 100,000,000 Eastern Europeans. (That is my alternate choice.) Would that work for you? It would not make the lead any longer, addressing your concerns. Recall, my addition did not actually mention the MRP; it did mention that one of the immediate consequences was the division of Eastern Europe between Germany and the USSR as invading powers. Surely, that should be significant enough for the lead, no? @Nick-D: Unfortunately when editors state they pursue a particular bias to defend WP against nationalists, that leads to an inevitable souring of the collegial and cooperative dynamic we seek. Same question to you as to Greyhood on simply adding a wikilink. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 12:20, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd better remove the link to the commercial agreement as well. As for the MRP it is quite clear that inserting it to the lead without mentioning Munich Agreement and other important events of pre-war diplomacy would just reflect the one-sided POV, making impression that it was only the USSR responsible for the war escalation along with the Nazi Germany and not the other Western European nations. While we have no space in the intro to tell the whole story in neutral and balanced way, better to leave all this for the main body of the article. GreyHood Talk 13:51, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Nick. Maybe a solution we can form consensus on is to change our bluelink in the lede Nazi-Soviet agreements (less notable 1941 treaty) to Nazi-Soviet agreements (more notable MRP) instead? -Chumchum7 (talk) 12:30, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Let's remember that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact per se had a global effect: it helped Germany to avoid two front war and made invasions of Poland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, etc., possible. Therefore, despite the fact that this pact had been supplemented with secret protocol (which was a normal practice, for instance, the British and French guaranties for Poland also contained secret protocols that lead to serious consequences), the pact itself was more important. In other words, Soviet neutrality during 1939-41 had more serious implications in a global scale than the Soviet territorial expansion, and accordingly, this the context the MRP should be mentioned in. Regarding the "bifurcation of Eastern Europe", etc., since different viewpoints exist on that account, we cannot devote attention to these nuances in the lede of such a high level article.
I also think that the border and commercial agreement is not notable enough to mention it in the lede. What we need to say about the USSR in the period from Sept 1939 to June 1941 is that
  1. It was formally neutral;
  2. It considerably expanded its territory.
Since the Tripartite pact appeared to be mentioned there (sorry, I forgot about that), I see no problem to mention the MRP. I suggest instead of:
"From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe; amid Nazi-Soviet agreements, the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbours."
to write:
"From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe; the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbours."
This wording adequately transmits the facts and contains no editorial judgments. (Btw, that would be close to what I planned to write initially, when we were working on the lede, however, for some reason, the final text appeared to be different). As a result, the article will have three links to the MRP: one in the infobox footnote, one in the lede, and one in the main article. For such a high level article that would be more than enough.
--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:00, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this is the most important agreement that caused WWII (Hitler was able to avoide war on two fronts and therefore attacked Poland). That's why the pact should be prominently described in this article. No, the occupation of several countries and a part of Poland by the Soviet Union during this time was not "neutrality" by any reasonable account. Biophys (talk) 17:39, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Your considerations are just considerations, and they are not supported by sources. The USSR was nominally neutral in WWII (in the sense that it was not at war with WWII belligerents) before June 1941. And, occupation and annexation of the territory of other country does not per se contradict to its neutral status: thus, occupation of Zaolzie by Poland had not violated its neutral status and did not constitute belligerence. Similarly, annexation of Goa by India was not a war. Let me also point out that most annexations (of Bessarabia, Bukovina, the Baltic states) were made without any hostilities, so it is impossible to speak in terms of belligerence at all here.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:48, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the M-R pact is probably one of the most significant and notable events and mention of it should be included in the lede. As for the Soviet Union's neutrality status, that was violated when the SU allowed basing of German submarines near Murmansk and provided an ice-breaker to assist the German auxiliary cruiser Komet to navigate Soviet territorial waters. Ironically the SU accused Estonia of breaching her neutrality when a Polish submarine escaped Tallinn harbour in the Orzeł incident, so the SU clearly breached its neutrally by assisting the German Navy the way it did. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 21:54, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
During the same period of time, the US provided Britain with enormous amount of war materials, including a large amount of destroyers, and had been even involved in the undeclared naval warfare against Germany. However, that does not allow us to speak about US non-neutrality.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:43, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have just reverted this edit. The reason for the revert (in addition to the need to discuss it first on the talk page) is as follows. Whereas the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was the very important pre-war event, it was just the last link in the long chain of events that eventually had lead to the WWII. Mention of the MRP only implicitly draws the casual linkage that overwmphasises the role of this pact in contrast to , e.g. the Munich agreement or Anschluss. In addition, a user Greyhood expressed the same opinion, so the edit summary (that referred to some consensus that have never existed) was misleading. In any event, we have two alternative ways to mention the MRP: one was proposed by me (see above), and another was added to the article by Martin (and reverted). I invite everyone to join the discussion about these two versions. I will appreciate if you will not vote, but provide some concrete arguments (or sources) in support of one or another version.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:28, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

There is general consensus in published sources that the MRP facilitated the invasion of Poland, without it there would have been no invasion. Munich agreement and Anschluss had no bearing on the German's decision to invade Poland, while the MRP did. My proposed text is accurate and succinct:
The war is generally accepted to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany following the signing of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact,
--Martin Tammsalu (talk) 04:39, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Munich agreement, Anschluss and similar events had a direct relation to the German decision to invade Poland. After annexation of Sudetes (with its pro-German population), the next logical Hitler's gaol was Danzig and the Baltic corridor. The negotiation over these two issues failed because Poland refused to cede its territory to Germany, which eventually lead to the war. In addition, whereas the MRP had really given free hand to Hitler, it is necessary to remember that the way to this pact was pawed by Munich, so we have at least two connections between the Munich agreement and the outbreak of the WWII.
I agree that the idea that the MRP was the major (if not the sole) reason of the WWII is popular among some Eastern Europeans, however, I am not sure we can reflect this local POV in this article. As Greyhood correctly noted, since we cannot tell the full story in the lede, let's leave it for the main article. BTW, you haven't explained what is wrong with my version?--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:00, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem with your version is the chronology is all wrong, placing a piped link via the phrase "nominally neutral Soviet Union" to Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (which also contradicts WP:EGG) in a sentence that discusses events after the outbreak of war is misleading since the MRP preceded the outbreak of WW2. While obviously Danzig and the Baltic corridor was a motivation, it was the MRP that actually enabled the war, as it allowed Hitler to avoid a two front war. I'm Australian born and bred, so I don't understand your reference to the popularity of the "idea that the MRP was the major reason of the WWII is popular among some Eastern Europeans", every source I have ever read highlights the role of the MRP as the key enabler for Hitler's attack on Poland. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 10:35, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Certainly, any lede sentence about the short term causes of WW2 would include both the Munich agreement and the MRP. But this sentence ( From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe; amid Nazi-Soviet agreements, the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbours ) is not about the short term causes of WW2. The sentence is about the first 2 years course of the war, specifically the Nazi-Soviet relationship 1939-1941 and the expansion of Soviet territory in Europe during this time. To explain this Nazi-Soviet relationship, there needs to be a mention of, or a blue link to, the MRP (regardless of whether the MRP is commonly referred to as (i) an alliance or (ii) a chilly dialogue between two sworn enemies), and not the Munich agreement (which did not formalize the Nazi-Soviet relationship). In short, the solution is to focus on what the problematic sentence is about: is the sentence about the causes of the war, or the course of the war? Right now, it's clearly the latter. Causes of WW2 are well covered in the main body of the article, the lede is summerizing the course of the war. As Nick-D says, there needn't be so much drama about adding the MRP (either by name or as a blue link) for detail in this sentence about the Nazi-Soviet relationship 1939-1941. -Chumchum7 (talk) 13:48, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Chumchum, what you write is absolutely correct. However, you should have to notice that my wording
"From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe; the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbours."
does contain the blue link to the MRP. The sentence explains that the USSR was nominally neutral (which does not imply de facto neutrality). The second part of the sentence (about the expansion of the Soviet territory), explains the limits to its neutrality. In my opinion, this wording takes into account most of what you write and put emphases in more correct way: whereas the German-Soviet border agreement just formalised territorial acquisitions of both sides in Central Europe (and, therefore, the casual linkage has been broken here: expansion preceded the agreement), the neutrality of the USSR, stipulated by the MRP, had much more global consequences. I understand that the secret protocol to the pact had much more serious implications for the Central European states, however, its effect was limited by this region only, and not the protocol but the pact itself (and declared Soviet neutrality) allowed Hitler to conquer most of Europe. The secret protocol hadn't changed the course of the war much, but the pact had.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:40, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
While the USSR entered WWII as "neutral" (along with the US), various alliances aside, do we have any sources which state the USSR continued to be viewed as neutral under international law once it started invading its neighbors? Certainly not after it attacked Finland (for which it was tossed out of the League of Nations). I suggest "ostensibly" in place of "nominally" as a more appropriate word, as the Soviet invasion of Poland terminated neutrality while still purporting to be neutral, just saving the Belarusians and Ukrainians after the fall of Warsaw and the demise of the Polish state. "It's not an invasion if the sovereign state no longer exists."PЄTЄRS J V TALK 17:07, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Laurence Rees states there was strategic Nazi-Soviet coordination: On 3rd September 1939 the Nazis invited to Soviets to participate in the invasion of Poland. On 9th September the Soviets responded to the Nazi invitation and confirmed that they would invade Poland, which they went ahead and did eight days later. On 27 September 1939, after the Soviet invasion of Poland was fully under way and under the auspices of the MRP, Ribbentrop flew to Moscow to meet Stalin so that the Nazis and Soviets could draw up the new Nazi-Soviet border together. Ribbentrop and Stalin significantly adjusted the borders of the "spheres of influence" (a propaganda phrase) that had been drawn up on 23 August - they agreed that more of Poland would go to Germany, and more of Lithuania would go to the USSR. It was on this occasion that Stalin also assured Ribbentrop that "if... Germany finds itself in a difficult situation, then she can be sure that the Soviet people will come to Germany's aid". See Laurence Rees, World War II Behind Closed Doors, (2009) pp.21-31. -Chumchum7 (talk) 17:41, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
By the way Rees is entirely mainstream and not an 'Eastern European', just like Snyder, Ferguson, etc: Any stereotyping of such analysis by Rees as some kind of Eastern European nationalism would be bogus, if not ethnically and culturally offensive. As such, it would be testing the boundaries of WP:DIGWUREN guidance. -Chumchum7 (talk) 17:41, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I didn't write that this POV is popular exclusively in EE, therefore, your reference to DIGWUREN is hardly relevant. I also recommend you to read the article of Teddy Uldrick (History & Memory, Volume 21, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2009, pp. 60-82). In this article he describes, among others, two Western schools, the "orthodox" school (Gabriel Gorodetsky, Jonathan Haslam, Geoffrey Roberts, Derek Watson and Michael Jabara Carley) and revisionists (Robert Tucker, Gerhard Weinberg, Igor Lukes and Richard Raack). If I understand you correctly, Rees belongs to the second school, which has not become mainstream, and there is no indication that it is gradually prevailing.
Regarding the Peters' question, it is hard to give a simple answer. First of all, since I don't have to prove negative, I would like to see a source telling that annexation of the part of Romanian territory and of the Baltic states made the USSR the participant of the WWII, and that was a participation on the German side. The sources available for me (which have already been cited here) tell that the neutral status of the USSR was not affected by this step (and even lead to deterioration of Soviet-German relations, and affected the Romanian decision to join the anti-Soviet Axis). The Winter war definitely made the USSR a combating state, however, since Finland was not on the Allied side, this war is hard to fit into the global WWII narrative. The only questionable moment is the invasion of Poland. However, all participants of the WWII (except the Polish government in exile) did not question the neutral status of the USSR. Thus, Britain never broke the diplomatic relations with the USSR during the period from Sept 1939 to June 1941, and although Seeds had left Moscow in Jan 1940, there were no official severance of the Anglo-Soviet relations (Derek Watson. Molotov, the Making of the Grand Alliance and the Second Front 1939-1942. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 51-85). In February 1940 Sir Stafford Cripps offered to visit Moscow to discuss Anglo-Soviet relations, a step that was accepted positively by Molotov. In May Cripps was sent to Moscow with trade mission that included the attempt to discover a possibility for political talks. (Watson, Op. cit.). Cripps' attempts to improve the relations with the USSR lasted until June 1941, and I do not see how it would be possible had Britain considered the USSR as non-neutral state.
Let me point your attention at the fact that, per Uldrick, Watson is the orthodox writer, and, therefore, his views are mainstream.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:26, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Let's stay on topic of how to mention the MRP in that paragraph. My proposal The war is generally accepted to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany following the signing of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, is chronologically and factually correct without making any stand as to the neutrality of the USSR (which is a complicated thing best left to the body of the article) and it allows the remainder of the paragraph to be unchanged, whereas your piped linking to the MRP article violates WP:EGG. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 20:59, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Factual correctness is not sufficient, because it is possible to lie simply by telling a part of truth. As I already said, your wording implies too strong casual linkage between the MRP and the WWII, and ignores other important causes of the war. In addition, this wording totally ignores the fact that the MRP was primarily a non-aggression pact. My wording is devoid of these drawbacks. What concrete objections do you have against it?--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:54, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────To call MRP by its colloquial name may result in confusion, because a reader may understand it as a military alliance (which was not true). The essence of this pact was the non-aggression treaty (and the secret protocol does not add much to that). Therefore, a possible version that takes into account all criticism can be:

"The war is generally accepted to have begun on 1 September 1939, when Germany, after signing the non-aggression pact with the USSR, invaded Poland. Shrotly after that, France and most of the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth declared war on Germany. From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe; the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbours."

I also think we do not need to discuss the German goals here, because the goals and objectives of other countries are not discussed in the lede.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:11, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure it is necessary to obfuscate the common name of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact via a piped link as that name itself does not imply anything, let alone a military alliance, to the general reader. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 22:35, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Then, since most sources discuss the start of the WWII not in a context of the MRP, I insist on my previous wording:
"From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe; the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbours."
This wording is also factually correct, it contains a link to the MRP and it contains neither explicit nor implicit allusions in support of any of existing viewpoints. Alternatively, following the Greyhood proposal, and since the lede contains no references to any non-military treaties or alliances, I suggest to remove the mention of any German-Soviet treaties from the lede at all.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:39, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Again a piped link to the MRP. What is wrong with mentioning "Molotov-Ribbentrop pact" by name? Since when has it become unmentionable and why? --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 09:28, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
The statement "After sugning of MRP Germany invaded Poland" contains a strong, although implicit, casual linkage, implying that the MRP was the major (if not the sole) reason for the start of the WWII. However, as we already discussed, this viewpoint is an oversimplification, and we either tell a full story or don't tell it at all.
In addition, by calling it just by one of its colloquial names (it is known also as a "Nazi-Soviet pact" or "Soviet-German non-aggression pact") we confuse a reader, because he can conclude that it was a military alliance. If that is what you want, that is unacceptable.--Paul Siebert (talk) 13:19, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
There are alternate names so therefore we don't mention it at all as that might confuse people? That's what wikilinks are for. It certainly wasn't just a "non-aggression" pact, that would talk about two parties not attacking each other, not about dividing up other sovereign nations between them. Are you suggesting that the MRP was an alliance which did not result in the military forces of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invading and dividing Eastern Europe between the two powers? PЄTЄRS J V TALK 19:41, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
The name "Molotov-Ribbentrop pact" gives no information about the essence of this pact, so after having read the statement "After signing a pact with the USSR Germany attacked Poland" (or something of that kind) a reader may conclude that that was an "aggressive military alliance", which is not true according to majority sources. Therefore, a prerequisite for mentioning of the MRP in the lede is an explanation that it was a "non-aggression pact". Thin is a conditio sine qua non, and the fact that some small states were annexed in the aftermath of the signing of the pact changes nothing. However, I see we are repeating the same arguments. Since you Peters do not provide fresh sources or arguments (by contrast to other participants of this dispute), I am not sure I am obliged to respond. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:20, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Another way of resolving this is to step back and analyse the lede with a wider view. Despite summary style, it mentions effects (e.g. the Cold War) but omits causes. It should have neither or both. It would be fine to have both, which presents us with a solution: we'll add one sentence at the start of the 2nd paragraph dealing with the Munich Agreement and the MRP both in a nutshell, similar to WWII summary in 'The Times Concise Atlas of World History' (1986) p. 132 (that also has a map of all European territorial changes in the first 1939-1941 phase of the War, which this article also needs added). -Chumchum7 (talk) 20:47, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Do you think it is possible to summarise the causes of the WWII (including the causes of the Pacific war and of the SSJW) in few sentences? If you can, feel free to propose your version, however, I myself will not believe it is possible until I'll see some concrete text.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:20, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to note that effects of WWII are much more obvious and less controversial as causes. GreyHood Talk 12:31, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't think mentioning the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by name will lead readers to believe it was the cause for the German attack on Poland, nor do I think anyone is suggesting this here. But the signing of the Pact did come before the attack on Poland and it was an major event that sent shock waves around the world and any source that discussed WW2 mentions it. --Martin Tammsalu (talk) 19:38, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

America's title under Belligerents.

A little high on the scale considering they didn't enter the war until 41 two whole years after the war begun.

Suggestion. All 1st September 1939 declaration nations to be named first. In other words chronologically. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.196.145.202 (talk) 00:00, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Combatants are ordered by military contribution. --178.68.10.109 (talk) 05:17, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Canada as independent belligerent

Not quite sure were to post this so if I am mistaken in putting it here then you have my apologies... Anyway I noticed that in the outbreak of the the war in europe section it simply states the first allied powers as Poland, Britain, France and the "commonwealth". I believe it is imperative that Canada be included on the list. While I am sure the author simply thought Canada could be applied to the commonwealth nations he/she is mistaken (no offence). Canada entered the war on September 10th as an independent nation, 7 days after the declaration of war by both Britain and France. Canada subsequently fought as an independent armed force with the exception of a single ship briefly in the commonwealth fleet. As another point of evidence to support my stance (although redundant)the modern commonwealth was not formed until after the London Declaration of 1949 therefore the "commonwealth" only refers to those semi-autonomous dominions. In other words, Australia and New Zealand as they were the only nations which did not ratify the Statute of Westminster (1931). Post 1931 usage of the word in any other form is simply nostalgia or a colloquialism (especially since there was talk of a "red" trade block during the depression) but is politically inacurate. PM Makenzie King also stated several times in his declaration of war that this was a voluntary war for the people of Canada. Lets give the canucks the respect they deserve and not label them as British subordinatesl. Thank You. User: Bryan Liman 12:56, June 26 2011 (ET)

sorry but you are all wrong. The British Commonwealth was an evolution from the British empire, (that did not mean Canada was not acting as an independent nation) beggining in 1926 with the Balfour declaration, and confirmed in 1931 with the Statute of Westminster, the Domionions of the British empire evolved into a community of equal nations. When Canada entered the first world war, it entered as part of the British empire not part of the British commonwealth. And when Canada (and Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) entered the second world war, they entered as equal members of the British Commonwealth.
There wasn't really any formal definitions of what the Empire was and what the Commonwealth was, so it didn't matter if the other domininos did not ratify the statute; the Dominions of gradually evolved their sovereignty over time. So Canada like the others, was fully was part of the British commonwealth in 1939.Voucherman (talk) 06:45, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Arguably Canada wasn't fully independent until 1982. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.133.81.36 (talk) 11:26, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

The British ‘special relationship’ with the USA

WW2 economic background notes:

For six long year years Britain had spent more than a quarter of its national wealth waging war against the Axis powers. The truth was after 1945 Britain was exhausted. The major beneficiary of this vast expenditure was the USA. The Lend-Lease programme (March 1941) only started when Britain has exhausted its gold and foreign currency assets in America. This was the effect of the ‘cash and carry’ formula incorporated into the US Neutrality Act of November 1939. British assets in the USA were sold at knockdown prices to meet demands of congressional sentiment. By 1943 Britain had poured some £800 millions of cash dollars into the American economy, £50 million to expand and build new factories, and expenditure with the aircraft industry totalled over £437 million.

By 1944, the UK was training, housing, and supplying US troops in Europe by its own efforts and expense. By the end of June the UK had provided goods, services and capital facilities for the US totalling £1,000 million. The Parachute Training School at RAF Ringway near Manchester trained all the 60,000 allied paras who were recruited in Europe during World War 2, including Americans, Belgians, Canadians, Czechs, Dutch, French, Norwegian and Poles. After the war the final report on Allied Mutual Aid was issued, stating that war supplies to her Allies from the UK totalled £2,078 million of which about 50% went to the US.

In addition 3,000 British inventions were used by the US during the war. They were a free gift (Tizzard Mission to USA in 1940 ADD MORE ) of our great material assets, including penicillin, radar, the major share in atom bomb research and jet propulsion. Britain was at war for longer than any other nation (2½ years longer than the US). They organised themselves better and more completely for war than any other nation. The British devoted everything they had to the fight; not realising the cost until later.

By 1945, British casualties were 2¾ times greater than the USA; losses in killed and missing 3½ times as great. 55% of British total labour force was engaged in war production compared with 40% in America. Britain had also lost 35 times as much capital invested overseas as had the USA.

Mr Christian Herter, of the United States, who drew up for President Truman the report on European economic and financial conditions which preceded the Marshall Plan, described the war debt the British had incurred (unnecessarily) as a ‘millstone round the neck of the British economy’, and called for a international conference to redistribute the burden. That conference was never held. Instead, in August 1945, the US announced suddenly and unexpectedly that the Lend-Lease programme was to end immediately. This resulted in the UK having to obtain a crippling $3.75 billion post war loan from the US which included damaging fiscal conditions for Sterling. This caused the UK amongst other things, of having to introduce bread rationing to its people for 2 years, (1946-8) something it never had too during the six long years of war. The loan was finally repaid in 2006. As Sir Christopher Meyer, one-time UK Ambassador in Washington (1997-2003) wrote, ‘Sentiment will not trump what the Americans deem to be in their national interest’.

Sources: The Dominance of England, Dorothy Crisp, Holborn Publishing, London 1960, pages 22-26, The Sunday Times article Dec 31 2006; by Sir Christopher Meyer (one time UK Ambassador to the USA), The World at War, Mark Arnold-Foster, BCA London, 1974, pages 286-7, The Sunday Times article Sept 6, 2009 by Max Hastings, journalist, historian and author, A History of the American People, Paul Johnson, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1997, pages 647-8 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Long Ben Every (talkcontribs) 14:25, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

We have separate infobox for header, come there. But we may rearrange flags only after discussion at the talk page. --95.52.73.4 (talk) 04:39, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Another entry for the list of sources using the word 'ally' for Nazi-Soviet relationship

This time from Anna Reid in Britain's mainstream left-wing newspaper, The Guardian, which has a long record of relative sympathy for the Soviet Union:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/gallery/2011/sep/15/siege-leningrad-history-anna-reid

It is implausible that the use of the term in this way is too controversial for Wikipedia, given there is such a widespread use of it in the public domain, in a neutral manner and without some kind of anti-Soviet nationalist agenda.

First, nobody should assume this agenda is behind the use the phrase 'ally' on Wikipedia, in connection with the status of the Soviet Union in its relationship to Nazi Germany. Second, we can have a rhetorical debate about the semantics of the word 'ally' until the end of time - but Wikipedia policy dictates that our debate is completely subordinate to what mainstream sources say. The sources don't draw a distinction between a military alliance, an economic alliance, a security pact, a de facto alliance, a de jure alliance, a nominal or an ostensible alliance. They just use the word 'ally', 'alliance' and 'allies'. Until we have a source that clearly says the Nazis and Soviets were not allies, our original research cannot disqualify the umpteen sources that use the term.

-Chumchum7 (talk) 13:12, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Chumchum, I am not sure the idea to collect all sources that tangentially mention the USSR as an "ally" of Germany is good. Reid does not pay any special attention to this issue in her article, which is devoted to the Siege of Leningrad, therefore, this source cannot be considered as authoritative for this particular purpose. By contrast, no serious studies that devote special attention to this issue characterise the Nazi-Soviet agreement as a full scale military alliance, and many sources explicitly state that that was not a military alliance. In that situation, I do not see any reason to continue this fruitless dispute.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:37, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

¿Romania As “Co-Belligerent”?

Romania, at least for the last decade or so, has been portrayed as an unwilling partner to Germany. Perhaps this should be reviewed (perhaps listed as a puppet state).Trying To Make Wikipedia At Least Better Than The ''Weekly World News.'' (talk) 19:21, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Was the Antonescu's regime installed by Germany?--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:33, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

"encircling a large number of German troops"

The article ("Axis collapse... ") currently says:

"In February, the Soviets invaded Silesia and Pomerania, while Western Allies invaded Western Germany and closed to the Rhine river. By March, the Western Allies crossed the Rhine north and south of the Ruhr, encircling a large number of German troops"

However, I am not sure this addition is needed in this particular case. Afaik, the number of troops encircled in the Ruhr pocket was >400,000. However, the number of troops in East Prussia was greater >580,000, a considerable part of the of 3/4 million troops participating in the Battle of Berlin, was also encircled, and so on. In my opinion, the passages about "large number of XXX troops" are needed when this number was outstandingly large, so it needed in additional stress. However, that was not the case for the Ruhr pocket.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:01, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Recent addition to the Axis collapse section.

I removed the first sentence ("During November 1944, the western Allies slowly fought their way towards Germany, unsuccessfully trying to cross the Rur river in a large offensive.") for the following reasons.
Firstly, each part of the "Course of the war" section section starts with some concrete event (invasion of Poland, invasion of France, Barbarossa, D-Day), which marked the onset of the new phase of the war. Therefore, the beginning of the last section should be connected to the start of some large military offencive. Obviously, it can be the Vistula-Oder offensive, because it the British-American offencive started first. However, the latter offensive was in fact a counter-offencive, so the only reasonable candidate is the German Ardennes offensive.
Secondly, if the pre-Ardennes description of the Allied (in)activity in the West has been provided, similar story should be told about the East. However, I am not sure both of them are needed, especially in the opening sentence of the section.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:38, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

I added that because in the current form it indicates that between Market Garden and the Ardennes Offensive the Western Allies were doing nothing, while they were in fact fighting a large scale offensive aimed to push into Germany (which wasnt very successful and paved the way for the Ardennes offensive). There was no "(in)activity". What do you mean with "counteroffensive"? StoneProphet (talk) 23:09, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
I understand your point, however, this information seems to be more relevant to the previous section. The story about the Eastern front ends with the November 44 events, so these words can be added after "The Allies also continued their advance in Italy until they ran into the last major German defensive line." (or to combine these two sentences together).--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:19, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, the narrative structure of the article was a bit confusing to me, so i added it where i thought it fits best. I now added it into the section you proposed. StoneProphet (talk) 15:25, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
It's rather confusing to say that the Allies "slowly pushed towards Germany" given that the entire(?) operation took place within Germany. Nick-D (talk) 19:09, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Most of it, yes. But north of this particular operation the Germans still held the Netherlands, while south of it the Germans still held parts of northeastern France. I nevertheless changed it. StoneProphet (talk) 22:30, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

"German forces surrendered in Italy on 29 April and in Western Europe on 7 May.[224] On the Eastern Front, Germany surrendered to the Soviets on 8 May."

There were no separate surrenders of Germany, because in 1942 the Allies agreed that no separate agreements can be signed with the Axis powers.
Jodl signed the instrument of surrender on behalf of Germany as whole. However, since the Soviets had not been informed about this ceremony in advance, and because their representative, who had no opportunity to contact with Stavka, had no authority to sign such a documents, the USSR declared that they consider the instrument of surrender signed by Jodl as a preliminary document. They insisted that the surrender should be signed in Berlin by top ranked German, Soviet and Allied commanders. That is why a second surrender ceremony took place next day, where Keitel, a Jodl's superior, signed essentially the same document, which was signed by the Western Allied commanders and Zhukov.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:38, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

This does not affect the dates on which German forces surrendered in particular theaters of war or to whom. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 02:07, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
And to your direct point, two instruments of surrender were signed. You can pitch that any way you want, it's still two documents which were signed by Germany. As for no separate agreements, what about Finland and Romania with the USSR, for example? PЄTЄRS J V TALK 02:19, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Under "separate agreement" I meant the agreement signed without approval of all parties. That referred mostly to Germany and Japan, so Romania and Finland (not the Axis member) were a totally separate issue. If I am not wrong, the idea of "no separate agreements" had been put forward by Roosevelt, along with his "unconditional surrender" idea: from the very beginning of the Grand Alliance (since 1942) he was advocating the idea of unconditional surrender of major Axis members as the only acceptable outcome of the war. However, since the US and UK were procrastinating with the opening the full scale hostilities in Europe, Roosevelt feared that after convincing victories at Stalingrad and Kursk Stalin could start separate negotiations with Hitler, which may help the latter to avoid unconditional surrender. That is why the demand of no separate peace was being so strongly advocated by Roosevelt.
Re 7th and 8th, you are not right. Although Jodl tried to negotiate about separate surrender in Rheims, Eisenhower totally rejected his demands. He even threatened to halt any negotiations if Jodl would continue his proposal of separate surrender, and Jodl (chief of the OKW staff ) signed the instrument on behalf of all German armed forces. There were two problems with that surrender. Firstly, that was absolutely insulting for the Soviets who believed that they deserve to be represented by some top rank commander, not by a liaison officer Susloparov; they expected that the text of the surrender would, be discussed with them; they expected the Russian version of the text to be equally authoritative as the English one; and they expected the surrender to be signed in Berlin, not in France. None of these expectations were satisfied.
And, secondly, some German units, devoid of central command, decided that since the surrender was signed in the West, in the absence of authoritative Soviet representatives, then that was a surrender to the Western Allies only, not to the Soviets (in that sense, you are right, many contemporary observers understood that in such a way). That is why the second ceremony (signing a full surrender, by contrast to the preliminary Rheims surrender, as Stalin called it) was signed in Berlin. The latter was just a formality, and the second surrender did not change the surrender date (in both documents, 2301 hours Central European time on 8 May was the moment of cessation of fire in Europe as whole). Therefore, despite Jodl signed one document in Rheims and Keithel signed another document in Berlin, all German troops surrendered on 2301 hours Central European time on 8 May, according to both documents. No separate surrenders took place in actuality.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:41, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Paul. While the surrender of the German forces in Italy is worth noting, the text on the surrender of Germany itself seems overly complex for a high level article and is a bit misleading. While there were two surrender ceremonies, and the western Allies had to delay announcing the surrender so as to partially accommodate Stalin's preferred timeline, the basic fact is that Germany surrendered to all the Allies at the same time. Nick-D (talk) 19:03, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Nice work. Haber (talk) 05:24, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Poland was invaded by both Germany and Soviet Union

Poland was invaded by both Germany and Soviet Union just 16 days later, and therefore Soviet Unios holds responsibility for starting WW2. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.117.0.237 (talk) 17:36, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Do you have any reliable sources which state this?
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 17:41, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
A lot of things happened in World War II. This is indisputably one of them. We have an entire article on it. However, I don't think this is something that necessarily needs to be in the lead. NW (Talk) 00:12, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Wiki way doesn't work

Guys, it's been years now you've had Wilhelm Keitel sitting at a desk at the top of your WWII article. Really. Wilhelm frikkin' Keitel. It says something about the ability of publicly edited wikis to organize thoughts and present them in a coherent, prioritized fashion. Is this the best you can do? Haber (talk) 04:16, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

What are you suggesting to improve this article?
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 04:43, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
File:World War II Veterans by Konstantin Suslov (1).jpg
From the series 'WWII Veterans' by Konstantin Suslov
File:World War II Veterans by Konstantin Suslov (7).jpg
From the series 'WWII Veterans' by Konstantin Suslov
File:World War II Veterans by Konstantin Suslov (5).jpg
From the series 'WWII Veterans' by Konstantin Suslov
File:World War II Veterans by Konstantin Suslov (4).jpg
From the series 'WWII Veterans' by Konstantin Suslov

Konstantin Suslov's photographic project made in the light of the 65th Anniversary of the end of World War II was created in honour of the survived veterans. This work serves as a documental historical record that will endure the memory of those great individuals for our generation and many generations to come.

The series contains of photographs of veterans from England, Germany and former USSR.


The project has gained a lot of interest and has been widely exhibited in UK. To name a few: the Association of Photographers Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, HOST Gallery, Richard Kalman Gallery etc.


‘These photographs of surviving World War II heroes are masterfully crafted testaments to their subjects.’

Mark Jenkinson

‘The dignity, courage and pride of the World War II veterans, has been so wonderfully preserved by Konstantin and his camera’

Photo PRO Magazine

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Konsus9 (talkcontribs) 20:59, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Confusing introduction

An article shouldn't link to sub-articles to establish the absolute basic fundamentals of the material. Anyone who knows nothing about World War II looking it up online will want to know the basics in the first few sentences, or at least paragraphs. I.e. when it was, who was involved, who won/lost, etc. As is, to find out what countries were involved with the war, you have to either read the entire article, or click on both "Allies" and "Axis" in the introductory paragraph, to get the clearest picture. As someone who knows little about history, it was difficult to find this information quickly. I didn't think to click a sub-article because the basic facts of who was involved in the war should have been here. I think this article should include early on a summary of these basics. Squish7 (talk) 01:46, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi Squish7, what changes to the wording do you suggest? An issue with this kind of thing has always been that once you start listing countries it gets difficult to decide who should be left in and excluded (see the various discussions over the countries included in the article's infobox for examples of this). Nick-D (talk) 09:54, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Aftermath Section

While the European colonial powers attempted to retain some or all of their colonial empires, their losses of prestige and resources during the war rendered this unsuccessful, leading to decolonisation. 1: Britain decolonised of its own accord, see British Empire it didn't try to retain anything. 2: Great Britain lost no prestige during the war, rather it was a victor and if anything it's prestige increased. Changing paragraph to mainland European powers. Twobells (talk) 18:06, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Britain waged at least one colonial war after WWII ended (Malayan emergency). Suez crisis can also be regarded as an attempt of former colonial powers to retain their most valuable possessions.
Regarding "prestige", the issue is more complex. Before WWII, population of colonies saw white man as invincible, so any colonial army was seen as a force that cannot be defeated even theoretically. The course of WWII events demonstrated that that is not the case any more: Japanese troops have beaten British, Dutch and French forces, thereby demonstrating that White Man is just an ordinary man (although with white skin). That had a important psychological effect on the population of colonies.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:52, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
There were growing independence movements in most British colonies before WWII and the financial impact of WII itself contributed to a position where maintaining the required resources to prevent that was unaffordable.
Add to that both overt and covert support from the US to independence movements in British India. The outcomes indicated that an empire that was widely dispersed and largely dependent on commerce became vulnerable to the imperial ambitions of one that had ready access to mineral resource in the homeland.
ALR (talk) 19:17, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

I deleted the world "mainland" from "mainland European colonial powers," thus reverting User:Twobells previous edit. I believe previous editor's change was well intentioned, but introduced an incorrect meaning. The modifier "mainland" seems only to remove Britain from the set "European colonial powers." Yet the map while illustrates this section shows the British Empire among the other colonial empires at the time of the War. Also this sentence includes a link to an article on decolonialisation, which specifically deals with the post-War breakup of the British Empire (among others). Thus there seems no reason for this qualification. Hult041956 (talk) 19:56, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

"Germany set out to establish a large empire in Europe."

I read this sentence in the introduction and it sounds like conjecture to me. Is there are reference for this? Perhaps some German document stating. "Germany wants to establish a large empire in Europe" or am I missing something? My recommendation would be to remove the sentence as the following sentence seems to present the facts better. If there must be a sentence then perhaps the alternative could be something like "Germany set out to expand its territory in Europe." — Preceding unsigned comment added by DallyingLlama (talkcontribs) 22:32, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

German plans were not limited with expansion of its own territory. It preferred to annex just small part of its territorial acquisitions: it annexed a part of Poland, but it preferred to convert other part to General-Governorship. Czhechoslovakia had been split onto puppet Slovakia and Protectorate of Moravia and Bohemia. North-Western part of the USSR was converted to Reichskomissariat Ostland. France had been split onto semi-independent Vichy state and German occupied North. Definitely, to say that German geopolitical goal was just to expand its territory would be simply wrong.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:53, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Putting the Start Date and End Date at Beginning

It is very helpful to see the birth and death dates of people, and wars. For instance, you could put "World War II, (1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945), also called the Second World War..." 70.56.235.169 (talk) 23:37, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Fairly minor changes

In the section "War breaks out in Europe", I think the following changes would be useful.

In the text:

On 3 September 1939 France and Britain, followed by the countries of the Commonwealth, declared war on Germany but provided little support to Poland other than a small French attack into the Saarland.[41] Britain and France also began a naval blockade of Germany on 3 September which aimed to damage the country's economy and war effort.[42][43] On 17 September 1939, after signing a cease-fire with Japan, the Soviets also invaded Poland.[44]

I am going to add a wikilink to Phoney war in the "provided little support" wording.

Perhaps a bit more substantially, the sentence

Though Poland was divided by Germany, the Soviet Union, Lithuania and Slovakia; the Poles did not surrender and established a Polish Underground State and the insurgent Home Army, and continued to fight on Allied fronts outside Poland.

is very awkward. A second issue is that the role of Lithuania and Slovakia here was very minor. In that regard I would

  1. remove ", Lithuania and Slovakia" from that statement (though perhaps we could add in a footnote with an explanation) and change it to "divided by Germany and the Soviet Union" (this is just replacing a comma by the word "and")
  2. get rid of this weird semi-colon (after "Slovakia"). Change "insurgent" to "underground" - the "insurgent" part did not occur until 1944 or so as it took a lot of effort to prepare an actual insurrection under conditions of an occupation. Also, "Polish Underground State" should be wiki linked. Furthermore "Allied fronts outside Poland" is ungrammatical (for starters, since "fronts" usually involve two sides they are neither "Allied" nor "Axis"). What it should say is something like "continued to fight as part of the Allied forces in theaters of conflict outside of Poland".

 Volunteer Marek  03:28, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Re 1. Lithuania and Slovakia should not be removed for obvious reasons: even if their role was minor, the fact that they obtained part of pre-war Polish territory is indisputable. Moreover, current Lithuanian capital, Vilnius (former Polish Vilno), and surrounding territories had been transferred to Lithuania as a result of this division. Another question is that Lithuania, by contrast to Germany, its puppet Slovakia, and the USSR did not participate in the invasion of Poland. However, this particular sentence does not discuss invasion, it discusses division of territory, and Slovakia and Lithuania did obtain a part of pre-war Polish land. I object against removal of these two countries, however, I think that it would be more correct to say:
"...Poland was divided between Germany, the Soviet Union, Lithuania and Slovakia"
to emphasize the fact that not all these countries were active participants of the invasion.
Re 2. This new wording may be an improvement, however, since I saw no concrete wording it is hard to tell anything for sure. Can you please propose some concrete text?--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:00, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Re our past discussions of radio signals, the USSR did aid the Nazi invasion of Poland, and the USSR did subsequently invade Poland. Whatever territory was divided or apportioned subsequently was done under the aegis of those two cooperating powers, i.e., Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland between themselves, Lithuania, and Slovakia. The partition of Poland was not a spontaneous event or done by some third unseen hand. Or am I missing something coming late to the conversation? PЄTЄRS J V TALK 04:12, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
"...Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland between themselves, also apportioning Polish territory to Lithuania and Slovakia." Do we mention the USSR wound up with the majority of Polish territory? PЄTЄRS J V TALK 04:16, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
P.S. That Slovakia invaded as a puppet state of Nazi Germany does not change Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as the engineers of the partition of Poland. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 04:36, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Re radio signals, I got no proof that these signal were being transmitted in actuality. The only thing I know that Molotov partially fulfilled the German request, whose real reason had not been disclosed, and authorised a radio station in Minsk to transmit the word "Minsk" as frequently as possible. I am not aware of other cases, however, if you have something concrete, feel free to present these facts.
Re your inflammatory language, I think it would be more appropriate eslewhere.
Re passive voice, I think it is totally appropriate. The article currently says:
"On 1 September 1939, Germany and Slovakia—a client state in 1939—attacked Poland. On 3 September 1939 France and Britain, followed by the countries of the Commonwealth, declared war on Germany but provided little support to Poland other than a small French attack into the Saarland.<:ref>May, Ernest R (2000). Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France (Google books). I.B.Tauris. p. 93. ISBN 1850433291. Retrieved 15 November 2009. </ref> Britain and France also began a naval blockade of Germany on 3 September which aimed to damage the country's economy and war effort.<:ref>Roskill, S.W. (1954). The War at Sea 1939–1945 Volume 1 : The Defensive. History of the Second World War. United Kingdom Military Series. London: HMSO. p. 64. </ref><:ref>Fritz, Martin (2005). "Economic Warfare". In Dear, I.C.B and Foot, M.R.D. The Oxford Companion to World War II. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 248. ISBN 9780192806703. </ref> On 17 September 1939, after signing a cease-fire with Japan, the Soviets also invaded Poland.<:ref>Zaloga, Steven J.; Gerrard, Howard (2002). Poland 1939: The Birth of Blitzkrieg (Google books). Osprey Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 1841764086. Retrieved 15 November 2009. </ref> Though Poland was divided by Germany, the Soviet Union, Lithuania and Slovakia; the Poles did not surrender and established a Polish Underground State and the insurgent Home Army, and continued to fight on Allied fronts outside Poland."
In other words, the active role of Germany, the USSR and Slovakia is clear from the context, so there is no need to stress it again. However, as I already said, it is desirable to replace "by" with "between".--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:44, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Paul, the thing is that the principal dividers of Polish territory were Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Both Slovakia and Lithuania's role was very very minor. If you want to we can clarify this in a footnote. But it is misleading to have a sentence like that which gives the impression that all four of the countries played an equal role.

In regard to the second issue, I already suggested some wording above. Volunteer Marek  07:11, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

The statement "...Poland was divided between Germany, the Soviet Union, Lithuania and Slovakia" implies no roles, neither equal nor unequal. The fact that Poland was invaded by two powers (+one puppet state) is clear from the previous sentence, so I see no reason to re-iterate the same thing again. The fact that present days Lithuania acquired significant part of its territory, including its capital, as a result of division of Poland has long lasting political consequences, and I do not see why should it go to the footnote. Re your the issue, as I already said, I agree in general.--Paul Siebert (talk) 07:22, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
No, actually stated that way it does suggest equal roles. The fact is 1) that the vast majority of pre war Polish territory was acquired by two states, Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. 2) Slovakia and Lithuania (which by October 1939 was almost a puppet state as well) got scraps. 3) Slovakia and Lithuania did not play a central or active role in the division of Poland. They were not signatories of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Hence you cannot say that they "divided". If you don't the footnote, then perhaps parentheses. But it is misleading to put Nazi Germany and Soviet Union on one hand, and Slovakia and Lithuania on an equal footing in regard to the 1939 division of Poland (whether "by" or "between"). Volunteer Marek  07:31, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
And if we were striving for precision here then the proper wording would be something like "...Poland was divided by Germany and the Soviet Union, who then turned around and gave small portions of pre-war Polish territory to their satellites and allies, Slovakia and Lithuania, respectively" (wording could be better, but that's the gist of what happened. If I mug you, take 100$ from you, then turn around and give 5$ of that 100$ I took from you to my cousin, my cousin didn't mug you nor would it be accurate to say that me and my cousin divided your money). Volunteer Marek  07:40, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it would be correct to say that the money was divided. There's nothing to say it was divided equally, you are just inferring that. Britmax (talk) 08:44, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say it would be "incorrect", I said it would be "inaccurate", two different things. You can be technically correct but still be very very inaccurate. The statement "the Earth is at least 5 years old" is correct but not accurate, and, as here, somewhat misleading and useless. And yes I am inferring that because the way the information is presented it does suggest that Lithuania and Slovakia, which got .01 of Polish territory, were the same as Nazi Germany and Soviet Union, which got .99 of Polish territory. See the problem?  Volunteer Marek  17:25, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
The current wording on Slovakia and Lithuania also seems basically OK to me. This is a high level article, and we don't need to (and shouldn't) go into the details of the many territorial changes which took place as a result of the war. Nick-D (talk) 09:51, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but that is an argument for omitting Slovakia and Lithuania. The % of pre war Polish territory which wound up as part of Lithuania/SSR Lithuania was less than one-half-of-one percent, .005. The & of pre war Polish territory which wound up as part of Slovakia was about the same (maybe slightly larger). Together the two countries got 1% of pre war Polish territory. Soviet Union and Nazi Germany took the other 99%. They're just not comparable in this regard and the present wording is misleading.
Second, Slovakia and Lithuania were not "active" dividers here, unlike Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
Finally, and perhaps more importantly, there is some WP:OR and WP:SYNTH issues here. How is this event described in reliable source? Do most reliable - and general - sources on the topic state that Poland was divided between Lithuania, Slovakia, Germany and Soviet Union? No. Most of them just mention Soviet Union and Germany, a few talk a little about subsequent adjustments to the MR Pact which put Lithuania into the Soviet sphere and almost none bother mentioning Slovakia. Of course specialized works do but, like you said, this is a general level article.
This seems to be exactly the kind of details that footnotes were invented for. If not then it's misleading to present that kind of statement without further information since it gives the reader the impression that all four of these countries were at least roughly on equal footing. And that's also why most reliable sources do not describe it in these terms. Volunteer Marek  17:25, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
We can simply state that Nazi Germany and the USSR partitioned Poland equally between them. The USSR took 51% of Polish territory, but "equally" is a more accurate statement than "USSR took the majority" at this level of summarization. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 15:40, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
@Paul, what, exactly is "inflammatory" about the fact that Nazi Germany and the USSR as co-belligerents and per prior agreement divided Eastern Europe. Only you deny and make excuses regarding the radio signals for the Luftwaffe (including, as I recall from a prior conversation, your personal contentions that the Soviets were somehow duped). Hitler's and Stalin's partnership is not fiction. Meanwhile, your "neutral" wording would appear to paint Lithuania and Slovakia equal partners in the partition of Poland at the outset of WWII. Or am I missing something? PЄTЄRS J V TALK 15:50, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Re radio signals, I do not deny that. By contrast, I explained the details of this story. These details show that alleged transmission of the word "Minsk" by Minsk radio station (during some unspecified period) is hardly an evidence of serious cooperation. If this is the only evidence of cooperation you have, then you have virtually no evidences. You should either present real evidences or to stop that nonsense.
Re "to paint Lithuania and Slovakia equal partners" If territory was divided between four countries, that does not mean that they were equal partners. However, if you suggest to specify concrete shares, let's be consistent, and apply this approach to the article in general. The article in its current form does not specify relative scale of the events, and relative roles of different countries in them, as well as of relative military contributions of different countries in general. Theoretically, I see no problem with explaining these details, however, that would require us to modify the article's concept in general.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:16, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Paul, including the relative shares would be an improvement but, per Nick above, I do think that this is the kind of detail that is not necessary in a general level article. Hence my suggestion of a footnote. Also, I'm not seeing any kind of potential for inconsistency here with the rest of the article. If we go this route then relative shares and the like should be used when they are particularly relevant or informative - they are both here and perhaps in other places in the article. But we don't need to put them for every single piece of text. Volunteer Marek  17:43, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree that a footnote should be added after the sentence "...Poland was divided between Germany, the Soviet Union, Lithuania and Slovakia" to explain relative shares of Polish territory acquired by all four parties.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:54, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
When it comes not only to the quantity, but to the quality of shares, I think it is quite an important fact that Lithuania gained its present capital, Vilnius, a historically important city, from that division. This makes the Lithuanian participation in that division, whether active or passive, quite notable. GreyHood Talk 18:01, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
How about tweaking the wording to Poland's territory was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union, with Lithuania and Slovakia also receiving small shares. The Poles did not surrender, however, and established a Polish Underground State and the insurgent Home Army, and continued to fight on Allied fronts outside Poland. Given that the division of Poland lasted less than two years and Poland's territory ended up being changed quite considerably at the end of the war (with those borders, as far as I'm aware, remaining in place since that time) the 1939 division doesn't seem to justify all that much material in this article. Nick-D (talk) 22:07, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I like the first part. With regard to the second one, I am not sure it is totally factually correct. Maybe Marek can tell more about that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:30, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I also like the first part (whether or not we want a footnote on top of that change which gives more precise shares can still be discussed). For the second part I'd make the changes which I proposed above (fixing grammar and changing "insurgent" to "underground"), which I don't think anybody's objected to. Volunteer Marek  00:28, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Also in the section "War breaks out in Europe", I think the following changes would be useful:

Original: "Finland rejected territorial demands and was invaded by the Soviet Union in November 1939.[51]"

Changed:

"Finland rejected territorial demands and was partly invaded from the east by the Soviet Union in November 1939.[51]"

Reasoning: Finland was never invaded by the Soviet Union. Just take a look at the Wikipedia "Winter War" pages pages and this picture. How the hell can the introduction be so inaccurate when evidence is clearly visible? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tvirtanen (talkcontribs) 21:13, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 14:28, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
That makes no sense what so ever, if that chance is made then for example we need to change every instance of German invasion of Soviet Union into partial invasions as well. And most of the other countries as well. Seems POV pushing, which only causes a lot of futile edits, nothing else. Just because Soviet invasion did not meet its intended goals does not mean that the invasion itself would have been 'partial'. See invasion in wiktionary: A military action consisting of armed forces of one geopolitical entity entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of conquering territory or altering the established government. (ie. it does not require one to actually succeed in the action). - Wanderer602 (talk) 14:55, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Wanderer. There's no such thing as a 'partial' invasion; 'invasion' doesn't necessarily mean that one party is aiming to capture all the territory of the other party. Nick-D (talk) 22:02, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Thailand as an Axis nation?

I thought Thailand was a co-belligerent much like Finland or Iraq. At least, that's how it was described on the Axis Powers page as well as other encyclopedias. Is there a way to change that in the box which lists all the belligerents? Repdetect117 (talk) 18:31, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Surely there is. Just go ahead and move it below Iraq. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 14:28, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Casualities and War Crimes Section

"While many of the Axis's acts were brought to trial in the world's first international tribunals,[297] incidents caused by the Allies were not. Examples of such Allied actions include population transfer in the Soviet Union and Japanese American internment in the United States; the Operation Keelhaul,[298] expulsion of Germans after World War II, mass rape of German women by Soviet Red Army; the Soviet Union's Katyn massacre, for which Germans faced counter-accusations of responsibility. Large numbers of famine deaths can also be partially attributed to the war, such as the Bengal famine of 1943 and the Vietnamese famine of 1944–45.[299] It has been suggested by some historians[who?] that the bombing of civilian areas in enemy territory, including Tokyo and most notably the German cities of Dresden, Hamburg and Cologne by Western Allies,[300] which resulted in the destruction of more than 160 cities and the deaths of more than 600,000 German civilians[301] be considered as war crimes."


Does anyone not using a bizarre code of moral equivalency really believe that the despite the loss of property and the effective "imprisonment" during the course of the war that the United States' internment of Japanese Americans belongs in this list of putative war crimes? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.219.223.130 (talk) 03:38, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Do the bulk of reliable historians who comment on the internment of Japanese Americans say that it is a war crime? Does any court? (Hohum @) 15:16, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the United States, but Canada has acknowledged the Internment of Japanese Canadians in World War II it to be a mass injustice and violation of human rights. Canada has issued a formal apology and awarded compensation to internees, and has even changed the Canadian Constitution to prevent such actions in the future.Mediatech492 (talk) 00:54, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

categorization

Is the following forest of categories necessary or even useful?

Robert Greer (talk) 15:29, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Does not look like so. Categories involving one country should not have a place here. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 14:22, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
    • ^ Beevor, Antony (2006). The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. London: Phoenix. pp. 258–260. ISBN 0753821656. 
    • ^ Beevor, Antony (2006). The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. London: Phoenix. pp. 258–260. ISBN 0753821656. 
    • ^ Budiansky, Stephen (2004). Air power : The Men, Machines, and Ideas that Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II. London: Viking. pp. 209–211. ISBN 0670032859.